The Chemical Coaters Association International says that manufacturers, importers and processors of 37 chemicals could be required to notify the Environmental Protection Agency under significant new use rules (SNURs) the EPA proposed on Feb. 25.
The CCAI says that the EPA designed most of the proposed SNURs to protect workers from health problems the agency is concerned could occur. The remaining SNURs are designed to prevent environmental harm. Fourteen of the 37 chemicals are nanoengineered carbon compounds such as multi-walled carbon nanotubes and nanofibers.
EPA already has allowed the 37 chemicals to go into production, with protective measures outlined either in consent orders or premanufacture notices filed by specific companies.
The significant new use rules adopt those same conditions, so they would apply to other companies that want to make, import, or process the chemicals.
Any manufacture or use of a chemical that does not take into account the protective measures—use of personal protective equipment, for example—would be considered a new use and require notification to EPA. That notification would have to be provided to the agency 90 days before the manufacture, importation, or processing of the chemicals, so that EPA could review the proposed action and determine whether it posed an unreasonable risk warranting some kind of control.
Comments on the proposed rules are due April 26.
The 37 chemicals that would be covered by the new use rules would be used for many different purposes, according to the Federal Register notice. These include manufacture of adhesives, coatings, colorants, lubricants, chemical intermediates, electrochemical sensors, flame retardants, mechanical reinforcement additives, and additives that assist with the electrical and thermal conductivity of final products.
CLICK HERE to read the proposed rule that was issued on February 25 in the Federal Register