ECHA to Support Identifying New POPs

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has announced that it will support the European Commission and Member States to develop risk profiles for methoxychlor and Dechlorane Plus®. This contributes to global work to eliminate or limit the use of the most hazardous persistent organic pollutants.

In early October 2019, the Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) agreed that methoxychlor (EC 200-779-9, CAS 72-43-5) and Dechlorane Plus® (EC 236-948-9, CAS 13560-89-9) fulfill the screening criteria as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Together with the Commission, ECHA will support the committee in the preparation of risk profiles for these two substances and will launch a public consultation on the drafts in early 2020.

If the POPRC adopts the risk profiles, it will conduct risk management evaluations and then eventually recommend lisitng these substances as persistent organic pollutants in the Stockholm Convention. Listing under this convention would either result in their worldwide elimination or in the strict restriction of their production and use.

Dechlorane Plus® is mainly used as a flame retardant and has been identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under REACH. Methoxychlor is a pesticide and its use in the EU has already been banned since 2002. Both substances have adverse effects to humans and the environment.

As of July 2019, ECHA supports the Commission and the Member States to identify and propose new POPs from the EU to the Stockholm Convention.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention under the United Nations.

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EPA Addresses PFAS Action Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent two actions that address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. The agency’s first action is an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow the public to provide input on adding PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory toxic chemical list. The second action is a supplemental proposal to ensure that certain persistent long-chain PFAS chemicals cannot be imported into the United States without notification and review by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act in 2016.  EPA has the authority to deny such “significant new use requests” under TSCA.

“Today’s announcement is just one of the many ways we are delivering on the PFAS Action Plan – the most comprehensive, multi-media research and risk communication plan ever issued by the agency to address an emerging chemical of concern,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These actions are intended to provide the public with more information on PFAS in the environment and to ensure that EPA receives notice of any plan to import certain persistent long-chain PFAS into the country, further protecting all Americans.”

Both actions are critical steps in EPA’s efforts to help provide communities with additional information about PFAS chemicals. EPA looks forward to working with its federal partners throughout the interagency review process and will issue the proposals after that process is complete.

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