EPA Announces 40 Chemicals to Undergo Prioritization Process

On March 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of 40 chemicals scheduled to undergo prioritization for risk evaluation. This list has been released to allow the public the chance to submit feedback (related to uses, hazards, exposure, etc.) for these substances. By December 22, 2019, the EPA is required to designate at least 20 chemicals as “high-priority” and 20 as “low-priority”. 

Prioritization Process

Prioritization is the first part of a chemical review process required under section 6(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator, has highlighted the significance of these review efforts, stating “We are delivering on the promise of Lautenberg to better assess and manage existing chemicals in commerce and provide greater certainty and transparency to the American public.

The focus of prioritization is to classify a chemical as either high-priority (necessitating additional risk assessment) or low-priority (not requiring immediate risk assessment). Prioritization involves a multistage process:

  • Candidate Selection - Selecting prioritization candidates, with half of all high-priority designations being from the 2014 Update of the TSCA Work Plan.
  • Initiation - Announcing (via Federal Register Notice) that a chemical is planned for prioritization, and giving a 90-day period for the public to comment on it.
  • Screening Review - Screening of a chemical by reviewing several factors, including hazard and exposure potential, persistence and bioaccumulation, exposed or susceptible subpopulations, storage near drinking water sources, conditions of use, and manufactured or processed volume.
  • Proposed Designation - Proposing that a chemical be assigned as either high-priority or low-priority.
  • Final Designation - Finalizing a priority designation in light of public feedback, and publishing it in the Federal Register.
  • Designation Revision - Revising of priority designation (from low-priority to high-priority) may be done in certain cases.

The Chemicals

Candidates for High-Priority Designation

Among the high-priority chemical candidates are chlorinated solvents, flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive, a polymer pre-curser, and phthalates.

Chemical NameCAS Number
trans-1,2- Dichloroethylene156-60-5
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- dibutyl ester)84-74-2
Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) - 1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1- butyl 2(phenylmethyl) ester85-68-7
Di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) - (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- bis(2-ethylhexyl) ester)117-81-7
Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP) - (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- bis-(2methylpropyl) ester)84-69-5
Dicyclohexyl phthalate84-61-7
4,4'-(1-Methylethylidene)bis[2, 6-dibromophenol] (TBBPA)79-94-7
Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)115-96-8
Phosphoric acid, triphenyl ester (TPP)115-86-6
Ethylene dibromide106-93-4
1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta [g]-2-benzopyran (HHCB)1222-05-5
Phthalic anhydride85-44-9

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Candidates for Low-Priority Designation

Among the low-priority candidates are ones selected from the EPA’s Safer Chemicals Ingredients List.

Chemical NameCAS Number
1-Butanol, 3-methoxy-, 1-acetate4435-53-4
D-gluco-Heptonic acid, sodium salt (1:1), (2.xi.)-31138-65-5
D-Gluconic acid526-95-4
D-Gluconic acid, calcium salt (2:1)299-28-5
D-Gluconic acid, .delta.-lactone90-80-2
D-Gluconic acid, potassium salt (1:1)299-27-4
D-Gluconic acid, sodium salt (1:1)527-07-1
Decanedioic acid, 1,10-dibutyl ester109-43-3
Propanol, [2-(2-butoxymethylethoxy)methylethoxy]-55934-93-5
Propanedioic acid, 1,3-diethyl ester105-53-3
Propanedioic acid, 1,3-dimethyl ester108-59-8
Propanol, 1(or 2)-(2-methoxymethylethoxy)-, acetate88917-22-0
Propanol, [(1-methyl-1,2-ethanediyl)bis(oxy)]bis-24800-44-0
2-Propanol, 1,1'-oxybis-110-98-5
Propanol, oxybis-25265-71-8
Tetracosane, 2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyl-111-01-3

For Additional Information

To learn more about the EPA’s efforts regarding the prioritization process, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website.

To access additional, detailed information on the chemicals proposed for prioritization (as well as countless others), contact ToxPlanet and register for a Free Trial.