EPA’s Ban on Methylene Chloride

On May 8th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a ban on most uses of methylene chloride, a highly hazardous chemical known to cause severe health issues, including various forms of cancer, neurotoxicity, and even death.  The EPA’s final rule, executed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is aimed at protecting individuals from the risks posed by methylene chloride exposure.

Under the new regulation, strict controls will be imposed on the use of this chemical, with a focus on prioritizing health and safety without compromising essential industrial processes. The EPA determined that methylene chloride presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health, without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors. The Rule covers all TSCA conditions of use of methylene chloride, except for uses subject to a previous 2019 rule.

Rule mandates include:

  • Prohibits the manufacture, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for all consumer use to be phased out within one year.
  • Prohibits most industrial and commercial use of methylene chloride to be phased out within two years.
  • Requires a Workplace Chemical Protection Program for highly industrialized uses, which includes exposure concentration limits, monitoring, and certain controls for 13 conditions of use to be implemented within 18 months.
  • Identifies a de minimis threshold of 0.1% by weight for products containing methylene chloride that will not be subject to the prohibitions and restrictions in the Rule.
  • Requires recordkeeping and downstream notification requirements for manufacturing, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride.
  • Provides a 10-year limited exemption for emergency use by NASA.

One of the key elements of the EPA’s initiative is the implementation of a robust worker protection program. Recognizing the vulnerability of workers in industries where methylene chloride is commonly used, the EPA has created measures to minimize exposure and mitigate risks.  The EPA’s ban on methylene chloride includes industrial and commercial applications, such as its use in home renovations—which reflects a proactive approach towards addressing the widespread hazards associated with this chemical. By instituting a Workplace Chemical Protection Program, the EPA ensures that even in highly industrialized settings, where certain uses of methylene chloride are essential, strict parameters are in place to protect workers from harm.

Companies seeking compliance with the EPA’s Workplace Chemical Protection Program can turn to IFO Group for assistance. IFO Group specializes in providing TSCA Compliance Services, offering comprehensive solutions to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.  By leveraging IFO Group’s expertise, companies can streamline their compliance efforts, mitigate risks, and prioritize the safety of their workforce.

Benefits of IFO Group TSCA Workplace Exposure Compliance Services:

  • Expertise in EPA GLP Compliance – Our team at IFO Group is proud to be EPA GLP compliant. We understand the critical importance of adhering to the rigorous standards set by the EPA, ensuring that your monitoring processes meet the highest quality and reliability.
  • Comprehensive monitoring for users and non-users – TSCA mandates detailed monitoring of both users and non-users of the specified chemicals. IFO Group is well-versed in conducting thorough studies to fulfill these requirements, providing you with a comprehensive approach to compliance.
  • Navigating ECELs and Workplace Chemical Protection Plans – IFO Group provides support to help you navigate through Existing Chemical Exposure Limits (ECELs) and develop robust Workplace Chemical Protection Plans. Our experience equips us to tackle the challenges posed by lower ECELs compared to OSHA PELs or ACGIH TLVs.
  • Certified Industrial Hygienists – IFO Group expert Certified Industrial Hygienists on staff will manage the process to ensure compliance with EPA regulations.

With IFO Group’s TSCA Compliance Services, companies can navigate the regulatory landscape with confidence, ensuring adherence to the EPA’s Workplace Chemical Protection Program and fostering a culture of safety and compliance within their organizations.  Contact us at info@ifogroup.com or at 832-403-2135 to request a free consultation.