6 May 2016
EPA Takes Action to Reduce Exposure to TCE in Art and Crafts Spray Fixatives
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to reduce exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) in art and crafts spray fixatives following a decision by the sole U.S. manufacturer of a fixative product containing this chemical to voluntarily remove it from the marketplace. The spray fixative product was used by artists, picture framers, graphic designers and printers to provide a water repellent and protective finish.
The EPA’s action requires anyone intending to initiate manufacture, including the import or processing, of TCE for new uses to notify the agency at least 90 days before doing so. The notification will allow the EPA to evaluate the intended use and to take appropriate action. A few current uses of TCE, such as use in cleaners and solvent degreasers, film cleaners, lubricants, mirror edge sealants and pepper spray, are not subject to the final rule.
The EPA’s June 2014 Work Plan Chemical Risk Assessment for TCE identified health risks associated with several TCE uses, including the arts and craft spray fixative use, aerosol and vapour degreasing, and as a spotting agent in dry cleaning facilities. The agency’s subsequent engagement with the only U.S. manufacturer of the TCE spray fixative product yielded an agreement to stop production of that product and to reformulate it with an alternate chemical.