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EPA to assess 9,000 chemicals by 2012

August 27, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 35

By 2012, EPA will review and take action as needed on more than 9,000 industrial chemicals produced in amounts greater than 25,000 lb per year to minimize risks to health and the environment, the agency announced on Aug. 21. The move comes as part of an agreement the U.S. forged with Canada and Mexico at a summit of the three countries' leaders this month. The nations agreed to update their chemical inventories—or, in the case of Mexico, create an inventory—and to coordinate the management of chemicals in North America, a pair of actions hailed by U.S. chemical industry groups. EPA said it will use the results of recent Canadian efforts to review older industrial chemicals as it begins assessing the hazards of "moderate-volume" substances, those made or imported in the U.S. in amounts of at least 25,000 lb per year. Through a voluntary program that began in 1998, chemical firms are supplying EPA with basic toxicity data on hundreds of chemicals produced in amounts greater than 1 million lb per year, which are classified as high-production-volume (HPV) substances. The agency says that later this month it will release initial reports evaluating the potential hazards of many HPV chemicals.


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