US EPA unveils ChemView, substance information web portal.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched ChemView, a web portal that will serve as a hub for chemical-specific regulatory information developed by EPA, as well as data collected under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The portal presents key health and safety data in a format that allows users to compare chemicals by their use as well as their health and environmental effects. ChemView will also allow searches by chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number, use, hazard effect or regulatory action. Users can customize their views of the information on individual chemicals, or compare multiple chemicals by use, hazard effect or other criteria. Links to background documents are also provided for more detail.

At this time, ChemView contains:

  • test rule data for 90 chemicals;
  • hazard characterizations for 1,016 chemicals;
  • Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessments for 48 chemicals; and
  • Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for 349 chemicals that did not go through pre-market EPA review – the so-called existing chemicals.

It also links to other data, including:

  • health and safety studies submitted under TSCA section 8(d) for 140 chemicals;
  • substantial risk reports submitted under TSCA section 8(e) for 261 chemicals;
  • high production volume voluntary submissions for 1,169 chemicals;
  • Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments for 548 chemicals;
  • DfE list of safer chemical ingredients for 602 chemicals;
  • Chemical Data Reporting information for 7,221 chemicals; and
  • Toxics Release Inventory data for 611 chemicals.

EPA said that in the months ahead, it will be continuously adding additional chemicals, functionality and links. When fully developed, the portal will hold data on thousands of chemicals. The agency stated that increasing health and safety information, as well as identifying safer chemical ingredients, would help manufacturers and retailers better differentiate their products by using safer ingredients.

The agency has considered stakeholder input in the design of the site and is currently seeking comments from the public on its usability.

EPA Expands List of Safer Chemical Ingredients.

This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added more than 130 chemicals to its Safer Chemical Ingredients List, which contains chemicals that meet the criteria of EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program. For the first time, 119 fragrance chemicals for commercial and consumer cleaning products have also been added to the list.

Fragrance, although still thought to be a relatively low safety hazard compared to other chemicals, has become a health concern because of its unlisted ingredients. A study by the consumer advocacy groups Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 17 popular fragrances and found that the average fragrance product contained 14 undisclosed chemicals. Among them were phthalates, which are used to soften plastic and belong to the class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that may affect the body’s hormone system.

With the addition of the new chemicals, the Safer Chemical Ingredient list now contains 602 chemicals. Established in September 2012, it serves as a resource for consumers, product manufacturers, and environmental and health advocates interested in the use of safer chemical ingredients in products. Product manufacturers can also use the guide to identify chemical ingredients that meet the DfE program’s rigorous scientific standards for protecting human health and the environment. More than 2,500 products are certified under the DfE Standard for Safer Products including all-purpose cleaners, laundry and dishwasher detergents, window cleaners, car and boat care, and many other products.