EPA adds nine chemicals and removes one PFAS from the Safer Chemical Ingredients List

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), a living list of chemicals organized by functional-use class that EPA’s Safer Choice program has evaluated and determined meet Safer Choice criteria. This update is part of an effort to expand and maintain the SCIL. With this update, there are a total of 1,064 chemicals listed on the SCIL.

In this update, EPA is adding nine chemicals to the SCIL. To expand the number of chemicals and functional-use categories on the SCIL, EPA encourages manufacturers to submit their safer chemicals to EPA for review and listing on the SCIL. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals, the addition of chemicals to the SCIL incentivizes further innovation in safer chemistry, which can promote environmental justice, bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change, and improve water quality. Chemicals on the SCIL are among the safest for their functional use.

EPA is also changing the status for one chemical (CASRN 27619-97-2, 1-Octanesulfonic acid, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,8-tridecafluoro-) that has recently been identified on the SCIL as a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS). 1-Octanesulfonic acid, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,8-tridecafluoro- is not used in any Safer Choice-certified products. The chemical was added to the SCIL in 2012 based on the data available and the state of the Agency’s knowledge at the time. EPA has now updated the SCIL listing for this chemical to a grey square because of a growing understanding of the toxicological profiles for certain PFAS and incomplete information on the potential health and environmental effects of these substances.

EPA’s process for removing a chemical from the SCIL is to first mark the chemical with a grey square on the SCIL webpage to provide notice to chemical and product manufacturers that this chemical may no longer be acceptable for use in Safer Choice-certified products. A grey square notation on the SCIL means that the chemical may not be allowed for use in products that are candidates for the Safer Choice label, and any current Safer Choice-certified products that contain this chemical must be reformulated unless relevant health and safety data is provided to justify continuing to list this chemical on the SCIL. The data required would be determined on a case-by-case basis. In general, data useful for making such a determination would provide evidence of low concern for human health and environmental impacts. Unless information provided to EPA adequately justifies continued listing, the chemical would then be removed from the SCIL 12 months after the grey square designation.

The SCIL is a resource that can help many different stakeholders.

  • Product manufacturers use the SCIL to help make high-functioning products that contain safer ingredients. 
  • Chemical manufacturers use this list to promote the safer chemicals they manufacture.
  • Retailers use the list to help shape their sustainability programs.
  • Environmental and health advocates use the list to support their work with industry to encourage the use of the safest possible chemistry.

EPA’s Safer Choice program certifies products containing ingredients that have met the program’s rigorous human health and environmental safety criteria. The Safer Choice program allows companies to use its label on products that meet the Safer Choice Standard. The EPA website contains a complete list of Safer Choice-certified products.

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Read the full story from the International Joint Commission.

Fort Frances, Ontario, and International Falls, Minnesota, were the sites of listening sessions in August by the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.

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Read the full story in Nature.

Wealthy countries can create prosperity while using less materials and energy if they abandon economic growth as an objective.

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Read the full story from the Prairie Research Institute.

Archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) are responsible for locating and acknowledging the lands of Native Nations that are now part of the State of Illinois, as further echoed in the Office of the Chancellor’s Land Acknowledgement statement, “These … lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity.” The full statement is available here.

Seven hundred years ago, a series of fortified Native American towns lined the Illinois River valley from north of Peoria, Illinois, to south of Havana, Illinois, each with a prominent townhouse or temple in the middle. A place locally called “the Heldenmeyer site” was one of these. Today, it covers 30 acres of an agricultural field.

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Read the full story in Food Safety Magazine.

The food industry is just beginning to address PFAS derivatives as EPA has done, but it is making slow progress.

Recycled gold from SIM cards could help make drugs more sustainable

Read the full story from Imperial College London.

Researchers have used gold extracted from electronic waste as catalysts for reactions that could be applied to making medicines.

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Specific corporate actions, many with a positive return on investment, could help reverse the trend of the depletion of natural capital.