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EPA Prohibits 72 Ingredients in Pesticides, Ban on Trichloroethylene in Certain Products under Consideration

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its intention to prohibit the use of 72 inert ingredients in pesticides. Manufacturers wishing to use these ingredients in the future will have to provide the EPA with studies or information to demonstrate their safety, at which point the agency will consider whether to allow their use.

The EPA is taking this action in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others requesting that the agency issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products. Instead, the EPA will evaluate potential risks of inert ingredients and reduce risks as appropriate. The agency notes that many of the 72 inert ingredients removed with this action are on the list of 371 identified by the petitioners as hazardous.

Separately, the EPA is proposing to prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing and distribution in commerce of trichloroethylene for use in aerosol degreasing and in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. The EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of these prohibitions. Comments on this proposal are due within 60 days of the date it is published in the Federal Register.

The EPA notes that a separate proposed regulatory action is being developed to address the risks associated with the use of TCE in vapor degreasing. In addition, the EPA recently included TCE on the list of the first ten chemicals to be evaluated for risk under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act, which will allow the agency to evaluate the other remaining uses of this chemical.

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