WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released action plans to address the potential health risks of benzidine dyes, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and nonylphenol (NP)/nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The chemicals are widely used in both consumer and industrial applications, including dyes, flame retardants and industrial laundry detergents. The plans identify a range of actions the agency is considering under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Benzidine dyes are used in the production of consumer textiles, paints, printing inks, paper and pharmaceuticals. According to the EPA, HBCD has been shown to be persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment and may pose potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects in people. NP/NPEs are used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as detergents, cleaners, agricultural and indoor pesticides, as well as food packaging.
The range of actions on these chemicals includes adding HBCD and NP/NPE to EPA’s new Chemicals of Concern list, issuing significant new use rules for all three chemicals, and, for HBCD and benzidine dyes, imposing new reporting requirements on EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory and potentially banning or limiting the manufacture or use of the chemicals.