EPA has completed its review of 390 specific chemical identities that were announced as expected to lose their confidential status in April 2021. On October 15, 2021, EPA announced a list of 377 specific chemical identities that will be included in the next update to the public version of the TSCA Inventory. EPA found that 13 accession numbers on the initial list of 390 corresponded to substances that are already on the public portion of the Inventory, or to substances reported using an invalid accession number (which was later corrected and/or the confidentiality claim was withdrawn). The 377 specific chemical identities were reported as non-confidential by one or more manufacturers during 2012, 2016, and/or 2020 CDR reporting periods–meaning that at least one manufacturer did not request that each of these chemical identities be kept confidential, effectively saying it is not a secret that the chemical is in U.S. commerce.
Section 1: What is the TSCA Inventory?
The TSCA Inventory (TSCA inventory) is a list of substances regulated under TSCA, which are known or suspected to be hazardous to the environment. As required by TSCA, EPA analyzes a subset of substances within a single chemical class (e.g. a substance with at least two classes in it). That group is subsequently divided into discrete groups that are updated each year. That same year-by-year process is applied to individual substances within each class. To read the complete Federal Register notice: https://www.epa.gov/.
What are the latest updates to the TSCA Inventory?
The following changes are all contained within the June 2018 TSCA Inventory Update (http://www.epa.gov/assessing-toxics-emerging-contaminants/toxic-emissions-under-tsca-inventory-update-june-2018): The content of the information included in the “Current Toxicity Characteristics for Chemicals of Concern” (C3) document in the TSCA Inventory is now an “Appendix” to the “Current Toxicity Characteristics for Chemicals of Concern” (C3) document, with no changes. C3 is an identifier for chemicals of concern and was a useful reference guide in determining the potential harm these chemicals might cause.
Why are these 377 chemicals not confidential?
When EPA first released its proposed TSCA reauthorization, 390 specific chemical identities that were known or were presumed to be subject to the public health security presumption. By April 2021, all of the products using those specific chemical identities will be commercialized, except for those products where a non-confidential status request is currently pending with EPA or under review at the local DEA office. For this reason, EPA determined that accession numbers on the original list of 390 specific chemical identities would be retained under TSCA so that manufacturers who have requested non-confidential accession numbers can see how many of the potentially hazardous products have been reviewed and/or withdrawn from the Inventory.
How can I find out more about these chemicals if they are not confidential?
EPA updated its TSCA Inventory web page in April 2016. You can visit this page to find out the chemical name and accession number, as well as the date on which the information was entered into the Inventory. If a specific chemical is not listed on this page, you can call EPA and ask for a copy of the identity. The identity should be available within 60 days of the request. In addition, EPA published a Request for Information (RFI) regarding a public release of identities that may be added to the TSCA Inventory in the future. The RFI will assist in determining what additional data is needed to update the list of non-confidential chemical identities for the 2021 re-publish of the inventory, and will inform EPA of the technical expertise needed to provide this information.
When will this list be updated next?
As part of EPA’s risk-based approach to the TSCA Inventory, the agency has examined how substances are being reported and their uses. Although this review was originally scheduled to wrap up in April 2017, the agency is still gathering information and reviewing certain disclosures for relevancy. As a result, EPA has delayed the proposed 2018 update. Will EPA be sending out notices to chemical manufacturers with new accession numbers for their products in the coming weeks? Yes.
EPA has completed an extensive review of the status of all the substances in the TSCA Inventory, the status of the non-confidential and confidential list of accessions to that inventory, and the rationale for whether a particular substance should be included in the list of accessions in the TSCA Inventory, all of which were required as part of the rule to update the TSCA Inventory. EPA also made an effort to include the opinions of the industries that manage the substances. The decision to include certain substances in the TSCA Inventory appears to be based on information the agency learned or received during its reviews of the TSCA Inventory.