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Policy

EPA Unveils Names Of 150 Compounds

by Cheryl Hogue
June 13, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 24

EPA has lifted some confidentiality claims shielding the identities of chemicals. Last week the agency made public the names of 150 compounds found in 104 health and safety studies that were submitted by chemical manufacturers under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Until now, the names of those chemicals were redacted from publicly available versions of the studies because the companies that submitted them claimed the identities of the substances to be trade secrets. According to EPA, the 150 chemicals are used in dispersants and consumer products including air fresheners, nonstick and stain-resistant materials, and fire-resistant materials. Others are nonylphenol compounds, which are used in detergents, and perfluorinated substances. Industry and EPA agree that, in some cases, companies have overused these assertions to protect chemical identity in submissions to the agency (C&EN, April 4, page 24). But the chemical industry stresses that some protection is needed for trade secrets. “We support EPA’s mission to promote public understanding of the potential risks posed by chemicals in commerce, while protecting the critical information needed by businesses to innovate and succeed in a competitive international marketplace,” says Scott Jensen, a spokesman for the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association.

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