Environmental protection agency (EPA) seeks ban on certain chemicals
EPA ON TRICHLOROETHYLENE
“One proposed rule would prohibit manufacture (including import), processing and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in vapor degreasing. It also would require manufacturers, processors and distributors to notify retailers and others in the supply chain about the ban.
In 2014, EPA determined that TCE may cause cancer, developmental and neurotoxicological effects, and toxicity to the liver, among other adverse health effects. This past December, EPA proposed to ban use of TCE as a degreaser and spot removal agent in dry cleaning because of associated health risks.
Let me highlight at this point the material safety data sheet of Trichloroethylene.
The part of material safety data published by the manufacturer of Trichloroethylene (Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc.) is as follows:
BRIEF MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET OF TRICHLOROETHYLENE
NFPA RATINGS (SCALE 0 – 4): HEALTH=2 FIRE=1 REACTIVITY=0
EC CLASSIFICATION (ASSIGNED): Carcinogen Category 3
Major Health Hazards: Respiratory tract irritation, skin irritation, eye irritation, central nervous system depression, allergic reaction.
Physical Hazards: May polymerize. Containers may rupture or explode. May decompose on contact with air, light, moisture, heat or storage and use above room temperature. Releases toxic, corrosive, flammable or explosive gases.
POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS:
Short Term Exposure:
irritation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, difficulty breathing, headache, drowsiness, symptoms of drunkenness, disorientation, visual disturbances, bluish skin color, lung congestion, kidney damage, liver damage, nerve damage, coma
Long Term Exposure:
wheezing, irregular heartbeat, liver damage, brain damage
Short Term Exposure: Irritation, allergic reactions, blisters
Long Term Exposure: Nausea, wheezing, joint pain, paralysis
Short Term Exposure: Irritation (possibly severe), tearing, blurred vision
Long Term Exposure: Blindness
Short Term Exposure: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, headache, symptoms of drunkenness, kidney damage, paralysis, convulsions, coma
Long Term Exposure: Drowsiness
CARCINOGEN STATUS: OSHA – N
EPA ON METHYLENE CHLORIDE
A second proposed rule would prohibit all manufacturing, processing and commercial distribution of methylene chloride for use in paint removal. The rule would require manufacturers, processors and distributors to notify retailers and others in the supply chain about the ban. In 2014, EPA found that methylene chloride may cause cancer, harm to the central nervous system and toxicity to the liver, among other adverse health effects. The agency will seek separate regulatory action for the chemical’s use in commercial furniture refinishing.
Let us also consider the material safety data sheet of Methylene chloride.
Part of the MSDS for Methylene Chloride posted by sciencelab.com is as follows:
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Very hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case
of skin contact (irritant, permeator). Inflammation of the eye is characterized by redness, watering, and itching.
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Classified + (Proven.) by OSHA. Classified 2B (Possible
for human.) by IARC. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.
TOXICITY: Not available. The substance is toxic to lungs, the nervous system, liver, mucous membranes, central nervous
system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Routes of Entry:
Absorbed through skin. Dermal contact. Eye contact. Inhalation. Ingestion.
Toxicity to Animals:
WARNING: THE LC50 VALUES HEREUNDER ARE ESTIMATED ON THE BASIS OF A 4-HOUR
EXPOSURE. Acute oral toxicity (LD50): 1600 mg/kg [Rat]. Acute toxicity of the vapor (LC50): 52000 1 hours [Rat].
Chronic Effects on Humans:
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Classified + (Proven.) by OSHA. Classified 2B (Possible for
human.) by IARC. Causes damage to the following organs: lungs, the nervous system, liver, mucous membranes, central nervous system (CNS).
Other Toxic Effects on Humans:
Very hazardous in case of ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator).
Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals:
Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans:
Human: passes through the placenta, excreted in maternal milk.
Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans:
EPA ON N-METHYLPYRROLIDONE
“EPA also is seeking input on two potential approaches involving NMP. One would prohibit manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of NMP when used as a paint remover. The other would include limiting the amount of NMP in paint removal products, providing consumer warning labels and requiring workers to wear specialized gloves and other equipment. In 2015, the agency determined that NMP posed particular risks to pregnant women and women of childbearing age who had high exposure to the chemical through paint or coating removal. Comments will be due 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register”.
Certain national security uses of methylene chloride and NMP would be exempt from the bans.
The three chemicals are among the first 10 EPA is evaluating for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
From the assessment of these chemicals by EPA, the effect of the use of these chemicals as highlighted requires strict control in its uses.