If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



EPA To Control Surfactants, Flame Retardant, Dyes

by Cheryl Hogue
August 23, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 34

EPA is taking aim at a family of surfactants, a brominated flame retardant, and benzidine dyes to control their potential risks to health or the environment. In three action plans released last week, the agency said it intends to regulate these chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. One action plan targets nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are surfactants that can break down into nonylphenol in the environment. Nonylphenol is toxic to aquatic organisms and is used to manufacture NPEs, the agency added. The agency intends to add NPEs and nonylphenol to the list of chemicals that companies must report under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). EPA will also require manufacturers to conduct toxicity tests of these chemicals. Another action plan addresses hexabromocyclododecane. This flame retardant, used in expanded polystyrene foam, is toxic to aquatic organisms and potentially could adversely affect human reproduction, development, and the nervous system, EPA said. The agency will add the compound to TRI and may restrict or ban its uses. The third action plan covers 48 dyes that can be metabolized to benzidine and are classified by EPA as known human carcinogens. The dyes have the potential to leach from textiles with prolonged contact with human skin, the agency said.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.