Toxic Substance Control Act

The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was created in 1976 and is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the production, importation, use and disposal of specific chemicals. 
In 2016, TSCA was amended as the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act became the nation's primary chemicals management law.  Under this law, the following items are carried out:
  • Mandatory requirement for EPA to evaluate existing chemicals with clear and enforceable deadlines
  • Risk-based chemical assessments
  • Increased public transparency for chemical information
  • Consistent source of funding for EPA to carry out these responsiblities

Risk Evaluations for Chemicals

EPA performs risk evaluations of chemical substances to determine if those chemicals provide an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment.  An overview of the risk evaluation process can be found here.

As EPA conducts the risk evaluation process, small businesses are offered the opportunity to provide public input through submitting public comments, attending meetings & webinars, and contacting EPA through one-on-one stakeholder meetings.

Chemicals Under Current Risk Evaluation

Existing chemicals currently undergoing risk evaluation can be found here which includes links to additional information and the appropriate EPA contact person.  Some chemicals that may be of note to small businesses include the following:

  • Asbestos - may be found in some imported products such as automotive brake products, vehicle friction products, and gaskets.
  • 1-Bromopropane (nPB) - a solvent used in vapor degreasing, dry cleaning, adhesives, sealants, and automobile care products.
  • Methylene Chloride - often used as a solvent in vapor degreasing & metal cleaning, found in refrigerant chemicals and consumer goods such as adhesives, sealants, cleaners, degreasers, and automotive products.
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE or perc) - primarily used in the dry cleaning industry and used as a solvent for degreasing.
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) - mostly used in industrial and commercial processes as a solvent.