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Chemical Regulation

US EPA lacks pigment violet 29 toxicity data, peer reviewers say

by Britt E. Erickson
September 27, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 38

An image of violet pigment spilling from a jar.
Credit: Shutterstock
Chemical structure of pigment violet 29.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has presented insufficient information to conclude that pigment violet 29 (PV29)—a colorant used in paints, plastics, and other products—poses “no unreasonable risk” to human health and the environment, an external advisory committee says. In a final report released on Sept. 20, the committee points out numerous data deficiencies in the EPA’s draft risk assessment of PV29, including a lack of solubility studies, workplace air-monitoring data, and inhalation and dermal toxicity information. The substance is one of 10 chemicals that the EPA must evaluate by the end of the year under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Environmental groups have also submitted comments to the agency expressing similar concerns about the agency’s failure to request additional toxicity data from PV29 manufacturers. “EPA has fallen far short of supporting its sweeping conclusion that the chemical does not present unreasonable risk, including to vulnerable subpopulations,” Richard Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, says in a recent blog post. It is unclear whether the agency will follow the committee’s advice, which is not legally binding.


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