The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a risk management rule in October 2023 to address the heightened dangers posed by trichloroethylene (TCE) to human health. This action follows the issuance of a final revised risk decision for TCE in January 2023, which revisited the risk evaluation conducted in November 2020 under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Scope of Risk Evaluation:

The final revised risk assessment for TCE departs from the previous approach by considering TCE as a total chemical substance, eschewing the examination of individual conditions of use. This broader evaluation considers the cumulative impact of TCE across various applications, providing a more comprehensive understanding of its risks.

Human Health Focus:

The risk management rule is specifically designed to address concerns related to the adverse impact of TCE on human health. By adopting a holistic approach, the EPA aims to enhance risk management strategies to mitigate potential health risks associated with TCE exposure.

Revised Perspective on Personal Protective Equipment:

A notable departure in the revised risk assessment is the acknowledgment that personnel exposed to TCE may not always be equipped with or wear suitable personal protective equipment. This recognition underscores a realistic assessment of potential scenarios and emphasizes the need for comprehensive risk management measures beyond reliance on individual protective equipment.

Amendment under TSCA:

The EPA's actions align with the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), emphasizing the agency's commitment to robust chemical management and protecting public health and the environment.

Stakeholders, including industries utilizing TCE and regulatory bodies, are encouraged to stay informed about these proposed changes and actively participate in the ongoing dialogue to contribute valuable insights to developing and implementing effective risk management strategies for trichloroethylene.


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