On June 8, 2011, EPA announced the public disclosure of the identities of more than 150 chemicals contained in 104 health and safety studies that had been claimed confidential under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). For those 104 studies, the chemical identity will no longer be redacted, or kept from public view. According to EPA, the chemicals at issue are used in dispersant formulations and consumer products such as air fresheners, non-stick and stain resistant materials, fire resistant materials, nonylphenol compounds, perfluorinated compounds, and lead. This latest development is another demonstration of EPA’s commitment to increasing transparency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by making publicly available more information about chemical hazards.
Readers will recall that, in 2010, EPA challenged industry to declassify voluntarily unwarranted claims of confidential business information (CBI). EPA also issued new guidance outlining plans to deny CBI claims for chemical identity in health and safety studies under TSCA. Based on this guidance, EPA notified a number of companies in February 2011 that it had determined that their CBI claims were not eligible for confidential treatment under TSCA and that EPA intended to make the information public. (See related posts here and here.) The health and safety studies included in the lastest disclosure include some declassified by EPA and other voluntary declassifications by companies in response to EPA’s challenge.
In addition to these actions, EPA over the past several months has taken a number of other steps to make chemical information more readily available. EPA provided the public, for the first time ever, with free access to the consolidated TSCA Inventory on the EPA and Data.Gov websites. EPA also launched a new chemical data access tool that gives the public the ability electronically to search EPA’s database of more than 10,000 health and safety documents on a wide range of chemicals that they may come in contact with every day. (See related post here.) More information about EPA’s transparency initiative under TSCA is avaialble here.