25 June 2020

EPA Plans to Further Regulate Methylene Chloride

On June 19, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final risk evaluation conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for methylene chloride. For its evaluation, EPA reviewed 53 conditions of use for the chemical, which is often used as a solvent. EPA found no unreasonable risk of injury to the environment under any condition of use but did find unreasonable risks to consumers from all evaluated consumer uses. EPA also found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users from most evaluated commercial uses. Now that its risk assessment is complete, EPA must propose and take public comments on actions to address the identified risks. It is unclear what proposals EPA will make and how those will fit in with existing regulations. Last year, under TSCA Section 6(a), EPA banned the manufacture, processing and distribution of the chemical for use in consumer paint and coating removal.