Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Government, December 19, 2016
2016 Chemical Safety Act & Expanded PolyStyrene Foam.
EPA announces first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and environment under Toxic Substances Control Act reform. The Environmental Protection Agency names asbestos and HBCD (Hexabromocyclododecane) among the first 10 to undergo risk evaluation.
HBCD is mainly used in PolyStyrene foam board and responsible for more than 95% of the toxic chemical and restricted from most other use. EPS and XPS foams are used as insulation in the building/construction industry and for spa covers.
EPA determined HBCD meets the environmental effects criteria list because it is highly toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Additionally, it meets the TRI criteria for a Persistent, Bio-accumulative and Toxic chemical (PBT). HBCD is designated as a chemical of special concern, with a 100-pound reporting threshold and needs to be labeled for consumer protection.
Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention says, “Under the new Toxic Substances Control Act, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace. We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”
Stockholm Convention Ruling
November 23, 2016
The week the United States celebrated Thanksgiving, international countries (152) that have signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants had a different reason to give thanks: the amendment adding HBCD (Hexabromocyclododecane) to annex A, elimination takes effect today. Under Annex A of the Convention, countries have up to five years to eliminate uses of HBCD in plastic foam insulation, and any insulation materials containing HBCD during that phase-out period will NEED TO BE LABELED.