Perchloroethylene Draft Risk Evaluation Available for Public and Scientific Review

EPA is asking for public input on the draft risk evaluation of perchloroethylene. Seeking public input on the draft risk evaluation is the next step in the process outlined by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The draft risk evaluation is not a final agency action. Rather, it represents the agency’s initial review of the scientific data on this chemical and will be peer reviewed by independent, scientific experts as well as open for public comment. EPA will use feedback received from the peer review and public comment process to inform the final risk evaluation and will provide frequent updates on the agency’s progress throughout this process. If EPA’s final risk evaluation finds there are unreasonable risks associated with this chemical under the specific conditions of use, the agency will propose actions to address those risks within the timeframe required by TSCA. EPA’s actions could include proposed regulations to prohibit or limit the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of this chemical substance, as applicable.

The document discusses how workers, occupational non-users, consumers, bystanders, and the environment could be adversely affected by perchloroethylene under certain conditions of use. Any unreasonable risks found in the draft risk evaluation, including those associated with this chemical’s use in dry cleaning, are preliminary and do not require any action at this time. It is important to note that use of perchloroethylene in dry cleaning has decreased over time as companies shift to alternative chemicals and new technologies. As with any chemical product, EPA strongly recommends that users carefully follow all instructions on the product’s label/safety data sheet. Consumers wishing to avoid exposure can ask retailers if products used contain perchloroethylene and consider not using products containing this chemical.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, EPA will accept comments on the draft risk evaluation for perchloroethylene for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0502 on regulations.gov. EPA will also hold a virtual peer review meeting of EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) on the draft risk evaluation on May 26-29, 2020. The virtual peer review meeting is open to the public to attend and provide comments.

Additional Information

View the perchloroethylene draft risk evaluation and supporting documents: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/draft-risk-evaluation-perchloroethylene

Learn more about the peer review meeting: https://www.epa.gov/tsca-peer-review/peer-review-draft-risk-evaluation-perchloroethylene

Background

Perchloroethylene is a colorless liquid used primarily in industrial settings for dry cleaning and degreasing metals. This chemical is also used in the production of fluorinated compounds, as a solvent for cleaning and degreasing, and in lubricants, adhesives, and sealants. Perchloroethylene has a limited number of consumer uses in products like adhesives for arts and crafts and stainless steel polish. The yearly aggregate production volume ranged from 388 to 324 million pounds between 2012 and 2015.

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