The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final risk evaluation for trichloroethylene (TCE) on November 23, 2020. 85 Fed. Reg. 75010 (Nov. 24, 2020). Of the 54 conditions of use that EPA reviewed, EPA found that 52 present an unreasonable risk to workers, occupational non-users (ONU), consumers, and bystanders. EPA determined that distribution in commerce and consumer use of TCE in pepper spray do not present an unreasonable risk. EPA also found no unreasonable risks to the environment.
EPA’s next step in the process required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is to develop a plan to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risks found in the final risk evaluation. EPA states that it “is moving immediately to risk management for this chemical and will work to propose and finalize actions to protect workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders.” The potential actions that EPA could take to address these risks include regulating how TCE is used or limiting or prohibiting the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of TCE, as applicable. As with any chemical product, EPA “strongly recommends that users of products containing TCE continue to carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label and safety data sheet.” For more information, please read the full memorandum.
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