The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk determination for perchloroethylene (PCE) was revised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 14, 2022, with the conclusion that PCE, when considered a chemical substance, presents an unreasonable risk of harm to human health when assessed under its conditions of use.

PCE's Applications and Risks:

• Fluorinated compounds, solvents for cleaning and degreasing, lubricants, adhesives, and sealants, as well as aerosol degreasers, brake cleaners, lubricants, sealants, stone polish, stainless steel polish, and wipe cleansers are all made using PCE.
• The EPA determined that PCE poses an unreasonable danger to the health of employees, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders in its updated risk assessment based on 2020 risk review. The EPA also noted cancer hazards from long-term cutaneous and inhalation exposure to PCE.
• Overall, EPA identified that 60 of the 61 circumstances of use considered in making its judgment of an unreasonable risk were true. The condition of use-specific no unreasonable risk assessments that were previously granted by an order under section 6(i) of TSCA is superseded by the updated risk determination in the 2020 PCE risk assessment.
• When best industry practices or current OSHA regulations could address the identified unreasonable risk, EPA will work to be consistent with those standards as it goes forward with risk management rulemaking for PCE.
• As part of the risk management procedure, EPA will suggest workplace safety measures that would satisfy the TSCA's legal need to remove an unreasonable risk of harm to human health and the environment.

What is next for PCE:

• To make sure the public is safeguarded against irrational risks from these chemicals in a way that is supported by science and the law, EPA published a roadmap forward for the first 10 chemicals to go through risk review under TSCA in June 2021.
• EPA is using a screening-level methodology to evaluate the hazards associated with some of the first 10 chemicals, including PCE, in the air and water routes. The screening approach's objective is to assess the PCE routes in surface water, drinking water, and ambient air that were not included in the risk assessment for 2020 and to identify any concerns that were not taken into consideration.

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