“Chemicals: EPA Finds Possible Carcinogen Poses No Harm To Public”

“EPA marked the last day of 2020 with a controversial announcement, finding few unreasonable risks associated with a common chemical solvent classified as a likely carcinogen.

In its final risk evaluation for 1,4-dioxane, EPA determined no unreasonable risks exist for the environment, consumers and bystanders, or the general population. The agency reviewed 24 conditions of use, including manufacturing, processing, disposal, industrial and commercial uses, accounting for the chemical's presence in items like arts and crafts materials and dishwashing products.

EPA did find reasonable risks for workers from 13 conditions of use for 1,4-dioxane, including both workers in direct contact with the chemical and those nearby. In its explanation of findings around work hazards, EPA said it “assumes compliance with OSHA requirements for protection of workers” and that employers will provide personal protection equipment.

Primarily used as a solvent, 1,4-dioxane has been reportable under the Toxics Release Inventory since 1987 and was one of the first 10 chemicals singled out for review under the overhauled Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). It is designated as hazardous under the Clean Air Act, as well as federal Superfund law, and is listed on the Safe Drinking Water Act's Candidate Contaminant List.”

E.A. Crunden reports for E&E News January 4, 2021.