Category Archives: Green Chemistry

EPA Releases Chemical Risk Assessments

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final risk assessments for dichloromethane (DCM), antimony trioxide (ATO), and 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB). The risk assessment conducted on DCM, a chemical widely used in paint stripping products, determined that there are health risks to workers and consumers who use these products and to other people in the workplace or residences where it is used. EPA is in the process of considering whether to implement voluntary or regulatory actions to address the concerns that DCM presents. The agency [...]Read more

More Gluten-Free Micro-Brews in our Future?

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Rule last August establishing a federal standard for “gluten-free” labeling of foods. That standard went into effect on August 5, 2014, except for fermented and hydrolyzed foods (such as beers made from gluten-containing grains, malt vinegars, and soy sauce). FDA said it would address a gluten-free standard for those products in a separate rulemaking commencing later this year because the agency at that time was not aware of a scientifically valid test method that could accurately quantify the gluten content of fermented foods. FDA [...]Read more

California DTSC to Hold Workshops on Priority Product Work Plan

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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will hold two workshops later this month on its draft Priority Products Work Plan, which will be released later this month prior to the workshops. The workshops, which will be held on August 19 and August 25, will provide an overview of the work plan and provide detailed information on how future Priority Products will be listed. The draft work plan will be open to public comment once it is released. We will provide more details on the work plan as well as an update on the workshops later this month. In March, DTSC announced their [...]Read more

EPA Extends Comment Period

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the public comment period for 30 days on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) for the hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures rule. The ANPR was published on May 19, and comments were originally due on August 18; however the notice extends the deadline for public comments until September 18. EPA is seeking public comment on how it can obtain information on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing, and whether it should implement a regulatory (under TSCA sec. 8(a) and/or 8(d)) and/or [...]Read more

Maine DEP Proposes Regulations to Designate Four Classes of Phthalates as Priority Chemicals

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Four classes of phthalates would be designated as priority chemicals under newly issued proposed regulations by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Di92-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) would all be listed as priority chemicals and reporting requirements would be put in place on manufacturers of household cleaning products that contain one or more of the phthalates. The DEP will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule on July 29, and comments are due on September 29, 2014. In March, the DEP proposed [...]Read more

Vermont Governor Signs Toxics Bill to Protect Children

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed S. 239, paired down from its original version, which gives the Vermont Department of Health the authority to require manufactures of products with toxic chemicals to disclose chemicals that are present in children’s products that can cause harmful health effects. The law provides a list of 66 chemicals of high concern to children, and manufacturers must notify the health department if any of those chemicals are in their products by July 1, 2016 and submit disclosures biennially. The health commissioner must also provide a detailed description [...]Read more

Biomonitoring California Launches Database

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California’s Biomonitoring program was established in 2006 with the passage of SB 1379. The program is a collaborative effort of three departments: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and the Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment (OEHHA). These agencies collect and study biological specimens with the ultimate goals of: 1. Determining levels of environmental chemicals in a representative sample of Californians; 2. Establishing trends in the levels of the chemicals over time; and 3. Helping assess the effectiveness [...]Read more

Vermont Governor Signs GMO Labeling Bill

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation that will require the labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods in Vermont beginning in July 2016. The law is the first of its kind in the United States and will require food offered for retail sale that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering to be labeled by July 2016. There is currently no required labeling policy by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however Connecticut and Maine have passed similar legislation though it won’t go into effect until other states pass GMO-labeling laws. Retailers [...]Read more

New TSCA Discussion Draft Released Ahead of Hearing

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Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, released his latest discussion draft of the “Chemicals in Commerce Act.” He first released a discussion draft in February, and has since made some changes to it.  Some of the changes in the new discussion draft are: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is given new authority to require the development of new hazard and exposure information for priority designation, if the existing information is insufficient, under section 4; In section 5, the legal standard for [...]Read more

Updates on the Pharmaceutical Waste Legislative and Regulatory Efforts

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California California State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s (D-Santa Barbara) bill, SB 1014, which would implement a statewide pharmaceutical drug take-back program, failed to pass the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. Jackson’s legislation was modeled after an Alameda County ordinance, which is currently pending review in the Ninth Circuit. The bill would have required drug manufacturers to develop and finance a statewide system for collecting and disposing of unwanted pharmaceuticals. Despite approval by 100 local government and environmental groups, the pharmaceutical [...]Read more