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Chemical Regulation

NMP producers influencing US EPA evaluation, groups say

by Britt E. Erickson
August 28, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 33


The chemical structure of N-methylpyrrolidone.

A coalition of environmental groups is questioning the legality of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s approach for assessing the health risks of N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in adhesives, sealants, paint removers, and other products. The groups claim that the EPA is considering thousands of pages of scientific studies conducted by NMP producers that the agency made public several months after the comment period for the draft assessment of NMP closed and after a group of external advisers peer reviewed the draft assessment. In an Aug. 18 letter to the EPA, the environmentalists argue that the studies are an attempt by NMP producers to reverse the EPA’s conclusion that NMP is associated with reproductive effects, such as reduced fertility. When the EPA published its draft assessment of NMP in November, NMP producers refused to make their studies available for public comment, the environmental groups say. On July 16, however, the EPA added the studies, with some information redacted, to the documents associated with the NMP risk evaluation. The environmental groups are urging the EPA to reopen the comment period and have the additional studies reviewed by external advisers.


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