Last June, EPA removed confidentiality protection for more than 150 chemicals. EPA’s declassification trend toward substance-level material disclosure is similar to the culture around chemical information in Europe under REACH and RoHS.
On Nov. 28, the agency announced the public availability of hundreds of studies on chemicals that had previously been treated as confidential business information (CBI). EPA says that over the next year the agency expects to review several thousand additional studies on industrial chemicals and make many reviews accessible to the public.
Releasing the data, says EPA, will expand the public’s access to critical health and safety information on chemicals that are manufactured and processed in the U.S. Newly available information can be found using EPA’s Chemical Data Access Tool.
Since 2009, “What’s in your product?” is a question with over 500 answers available now that were previously unavailable. Some 577 formerly confidential chemical identities are no longer confidential and more than 1,000 health and safety studies are now accessible to the public that were previously unavailable or only available in limited circumstances. In 2010 EPA issued new guidance outlining the agency’s plans to deny confidentiality claims for chemical identities in health and safety studies under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that are determined to not be entitled to CBI status. EPA has been reviewing CBI claims in new and existing TSCA filings containing health and safety studies.
“EPA is increasing the availability of critical health and safety studies on chemicals that children and families are exposed to every day. We are making important progress in making this information public and giving the American public easy access to it,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
For additional information, please visit: www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/transparency.html