Chemical Safety Act

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 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.

EPS Foam Warning and Potential Risk
Notice on all EPS spa covers to warn the risk and potential exposure to Hexabromocyclododecane, a neurotoxin and carcinogen reported by the EPA under new Toxic Substance Control Act reform. HBCD is used in the EPS/XPS foam board industry and meets the criteria for a Persistent, Bio-accumulative and Toxic chemical (PBT). HBCD also meets the Environmental Effects Criteria list as it is highly toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. This Polystyrene spa cover contains Hexabromocyclododecane, a chemical found by the EPA to be highly toxic and restricted to reporting its presence for consumer protection. Polystyrene foam and PVC vinyl are incompatible with strong oxidizers and should not be exposed to spa water sanitizers. Toxic – Carcinogen