US EPA Releases Chemical Data Reporting Information

February 11, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the non-confidential as it pertains to the manufacturing and processing of chemicals used in the United States. The CDR provides information for over 7,600 different chemicals used in commerce, 354 of which are used in children's products such as toys, playground equipment, and arts and crafts materials.

Containing comprehensive use and chemical exposure information, the 2012 database allows users to download the database as well as accessing the database by chemical name, CAS number, or company name. Users are able to gather company information as well as site-specific information regarding commercial chemicals and their specific uses.

Issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the CDR rule requires companies to provide chemical information when used in children's products, as well as providing information on chemicals applied in commerce and in the industrial sector. Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide data every four years when production volume exceeds 25,000lbs. EPA have also recently made it mandatory for companies to provide more information for confidentiality claims in order to make as much chemical data more readily available to the public.  

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson highlighted the importance of having chemical information accessible by the public, while at the same time singling out the need for changes in the TSCA: "The 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information will help EPA and others better assess chemicals. The CDR data also highlights the clear need for TSCA reform. Updating this critical law will ensure that EPA has access to the tools and resources it needs to quickly and effectively assess potentially harmful chemicals, and safeguard the health of families across the country."

Of the 7,674 listed chemicals, 1,704 of those are used in consumer products while 3,073 are used in commercial applications or products; the remainder are industrial chemicals.  

The Agency has prioritized chemicals used in children's products and their potential exposure to the public. Although companies are required to report on these chemicals, the TSCA has no requirements for chemicals to be evaluated for safety. Hence, the EPA has placed heavier emphasis to ensure chemicals used by the public are safe by identifying potential chemicals for near-term review and risk assessment under TSCA.

A work plan was released by EPA in 2012, listing 83 chemicals for further review. Seven of the listed chemicals were identified for risk assessment development in 2012, with a further 18 listed for 2013 and 2014. A public comment and peer review was conducted in January 2012 on the risk assessment of five chemicals used specifically in common household products.

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