On April 20, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a proposed rule under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would prohibit most uses of methylene chloride. EPA states that its unreasonable risk determination for methylene chloride was driven by risks associated with workers, occupational non-users (ONU), consumers, and those in close proximity to a consumer use. EPA identified risks for adverse human health effects, including neurotoxicity, liver effects, and cancer from inhalation and dermal exposures to methylene chloride. According to EPA, its proposed risk management rule would “rapidly phase down” manufacturing, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for all consumer uses and most industrial and commercial uses, most of which would be fully implemented in 15 months. EPA notes that for most of the uses of methylene chloride that it will propose to prohibit, its analysis found that alternative products with similar costs and efficacy to methylene chloride products are generally available. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register will begin a 60-day comment period. For more information, please read the full memorandum.
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