Benzidine dyes are primarily "used in the production of textiles, paints, printing inks, paper, and pharmaceuticals." EPA's main concern is the potential for these dyes "to be leached from textiles, such as clothing, that are in prolonged contact with human skin." According to the action plan, EPA believes that the following actions would be warranted:
- 1. Initiate rulemaking to add four benzidine-based dyes to an existing TSCA section 5(a)(2) significant new use rule (SNUR) for benzidine-based substances at 40 CFR 721.1660. A SNUR requires manufacturers who intend to use a chemical for the identified significant new use to submit an application to the Agency for review prior to beginning that activity.
- 2. Initiate rulemaking to establish a new TSCA section 5(a)(2) SNUR for benzidine congener-based dyes, including 44 specific such dyes.
- 3. Consider proposing to eliminate the article exemption applied to SNURs to address potential concerns for exposure to these dyes on imported finished textiles.
- 4. Consider initiating action under TSCA section 6, if EPA learns that these dyes are present in imported finished textiles.
- 5. Consider additional regulatory action, if EPA determines that there are other ongoing uses for these dyes and needs to obtain information necessary to determine whether those uses present concerns which need to be addressed.
Similar actions are planned for nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates. NP and NPE are "nonionic surfactants that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products. Many of these, such as laundry detergents, are “down-the-drain” applications." EPA is especially concerned because NP and NPEs are manufactured in very large volumes, and due to their common usage in detergents lead to "to widespread release to the aquatic environment." NP is persistent, bioaccumulative and extremely toxic in the environment, and according to EPA "has also been shown to exhibit estrogenic properties in in vitro and in vivo assays.
The third action plan is for the brominated flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane. HBCD is "used in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) in the building and construction industry, as well as in consumer products. People may be exposed to HBCD from products and dust in the home and workplace, as well as its presence in the environment." EPA's concern with HBCD is that it is persistent, bioaccumulates, can be transported long distances, and there are "animal test results indicating potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects."
I'll take a look at these further in future posts, but for now you can access the full documents at:
NP and NPE