The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is advancing to ensure chemical safety and regulatory transparency. The Chemical Substance Inventory is the latest advancement in the TSCA framework. Here are the key highlights from the latest update, released on August 16, 2023:

  • 1. Biennial Inventory Update: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adheres to a biennial schedule for the publication of non-confidential data within the TSCA Inventory. This cycle ensures that the public remains informed about the evolving landscape of chemical substances. The subsequent regular update is slated for the winter of 2024.
  • 2. Inventory Scope: The updated TSCA Inventory encompasses a staggering total of 86,718 compounds. Of all the compounds, 42,242 are currently being used for commercial purposes in the United States. This comprehensive inventory accounts for commercial activity data, unique identification information, and regulatory flags, including Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) and test orders.
  • 3. Transition from Confidential to Public Data: An integral aspect of the TSCA’s ongoing enhancement is the careful examination of its Confidential Business Information (CBI) review plan. This scrutiny has led to the transition of nearly 500 chemicals from the confidential realm to the public domain of the Inventory. This shift involves disclosing these chemicals’ precise chemical identities, contributing to heightened transparency.
  • 4. TSCA Mandate and Overview: Rooted in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA’s responsibility revolves around the compilation, maintenance, and dissemination of a comprehensive list encompassing every chemical compound produced, processed, and imported within the country. This list is crafted to align with TSCA Section 8(b) and encompasses most industrial chemicals in the US. Commonly known as the “TSCA Inventory,” this dynamic roster encapsulates a spectrum of chemical substances under its regulatory umbrella.
  • 5. Historical Evolution: The initiation of TSCA’s reporting requirements commenced in 1978 for makers, processors, and importers of chemical substances in commerce since January 1975. The first edition of the TSCA Inventory was unveiled in 1979, followed by a second edition in 1982, which cataloged over 62,000 chemical compounds. Over the years, the Inventory has grown exponentially, currently listing more than 86,000 chemicals.
  • 6. Defining Chemical Substances: Under the purview of the TSCA, a “chemical substance” encompasses a diverse range of organic or inorganic molecules, both with specific molecular identities. Additionally, this definition extends to combinations of substances arising from chemical reactions or occurring in nature. Elements and uncombined radicals are also incorporated within this comprehensive classification.

The latest update to the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory underscores the TSCA’s commitment to transparency, safety, and effective chemical management. As the Inventory continues to expand, its role in shaping responsible chemical practices remains integral to safeguarding both human health and the environment.


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