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Chemical Regulation

US EPA releases studies on pigment violet 29

Agency provides glimpse of data used to evaluate risks but still redacts some safety information

by Britt E. Erickson
March 28, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 13


The US Environmental Protection Agency has released 24 studies that the agency relied on to evaluate the health risks of pigment violet 29, a colorant used in paints, plastics, and other products. The move comes after Democrats in the US House of Representatives asked the EPA twice this year to make such studies public.

A chemical structure of pigment violet 29.

Pigment violet 29 is the first of 10 chemicals that the EPA plans to evaluate by the end of this year for risks to human health and the environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The EPA released a draft risk assessment of pigment violet 29 in November, concluding that the chemical “does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment under the conditions of use.” The agency’s release of the 24 studies does not change that determination.

Initially, companies that conducted the studies claimed the documents as confidential business information (CBI). Since then, the companies have dropped most of those CBI claims, according to the EPA.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), welcomed the EPA’s release of the studies, calling it “a win for government transparency and the credibility of the TSCA program.” Environmental activists, however, raised concerns that the EPA blacked out important safety data in the studies. “At least one key study released today—on reproductive/ developmental toxicity—redacts ALL of the study data: 333 of the 430 pages are blacked out,” Richard Denison, a lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, tweeted on March 22.


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