The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace. These substances are nano-sized versions of chemicals that are already in the marketplace. EPA seeks to facilitate innovation while ensuring safety of the substances. EPA currently reviews new chemical substances manufactured or processed as nanomaterials prior to introduction into the marketplace to ensure that they are safe. For the first time, EPA is using TSCA to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials. The companies will notify EPA of certain information:
- specific chemical identity;
- production volume;
- methods of manufacture;
- processing, use, exposure, and release information; and,
- available health and safety data.
Nanoscale materials have special properties related to their small size such as greater strength and lighter weight, however, they may take on different properties than their conventionally-sized counterpart. The information collection is not intended to conclude that nanoscale materials will cause harm to human health or the environment. Rather, EPA will use the information gathered to determine if any further action under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), including additional information collection, is needed. The reporting requirements are being issued under the authority of section 8(a) under TSCA. EPA proposed and took comment on this rule.
Persons who manufacture or process a reportable chemical substance during the three years prior to the final effective date of this rule must report to EPA within a year of the rule’s publication.