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By Pat Rizzuto
A new chemical additive has been approved for commerce by the EPA as long as the compound is made as a polymer which are too large to get into the body and create health issues.
The approval announced online May 12 marks the first time the EPA has approved a new chemical with a condition since the Toxic Substances Control Act was amended in June 2016.
However, the condition—that “the chemical must be manufactured such that it meets the polymer exemption criteria"—gives little insight into what other restrictions the agency may place on new chemicals as it reviews them in the future.
The manufacturer that sought to make the new additive, called generically 2–alkenoic acid, 2–alkyl–, alkyl ester, polymer with 2–alkyl 2–propenoate and a-(2–alkyl-1-oxo-2-alken-1-yl-[iquest]-alkoxypoly(oxy-1,2-alkanediyl), ester with a–2–alken–1–yl–[iquest]–hydroxypoly(oxy–1,2–alkanediyl), intended to make the chemical as a polymer a type of substance the agency typically considers low risk. The company’s name is known to the agency, but can’t be released, because its identity is confidential business information.
As of May 12, the EPA has allowed 44 new chemicals and 24 new microbes to enter commerce in the 11 months since TSCA was amended. That compares to the hundreds of new chemicals the agency typically reviewed and allowed into commerce each year prior to the law’s revision.
EPA officials have repeatedly said at public meetings that they are working to address the logjam of hundreds of new chemical applications that has built up since last June, but no details have been forthcoming.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Connolly at PConnolly@bna.com
The EPA's finding concerning the newly approved additive is available at http://src.bna.com/oP7.
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