EPA Rule to Restrict Uses of Some Glymes in Consumer Products Cleared by OMB

By Pat Rizzuto

Nov. 26 — The Office of Management and Budget approved on Nov. 26 a final significant new use rule (SNUR) the Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue for certain ethylene glycol ethers, also known as glymes.

The proposed SNUR, which the agency published July 12, 2011, would have restricted the use of 14 glymes in consumer products.

Chemical manufacturers did not file any production or importation records for eight of the 14 chemicals in 2012, the most recent year for which Chemical Data Reporting rule documents had to be filed. That may mean the chemicals are no longer made in or imported into the U.S.

Manufacturers of the remaining six chemicals included the 3M Co., BASF Corp., Lyondell Chemical Co. and six companies that declared their names to be confidential business information.

Reproductive, Developmental Effects

Under the proposed SNUR, any company wanting to make or use the listed chemicals in a way the agency designated as new—for example, in any consumer product except sealed lithium batteries—would have to notify the agency at least 90 days before doing so.

The notification would allow the agency to review the planned new use and determine whether it posed a risk to human health or the environment that warranted some kind of control.

The agency said it was concerned because all 14 chemicals have similar structures, and laboratory animal toxicity data for three of the 14 show they can cause reproductive and developmental harm.

In comments on the proposed rule, the Association of Global Automakers asked the EPA to exclude uses of the chemicals in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at prizzuto@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com