The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to address the unreasonable risk of injury to human health presented by methylene chloride under its conditions of use as documented in EPA’s June 2020 Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride and November 2022 revised risk determination for methylene chloride prepared under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TSCA requires that EPA address by rule any unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment identified in a TSCA risk evaluation and apply requirements to the extent necessary so that the chemical no longer presents unreasonable risk. Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is acutely lethal, a neurotoxicant, a likely human carcinogen, and presents cancer and non-cancer risks following chronic exposures as well as acute risks. Central nervous system depressant effects can result in loss of consciousness and respiratory depression, resulting in irreversible coma, hypoxia, and eventual death, including 85 documented fatalities from 1980 to 2018, a majority of which were occupational fatalities (see Unit II.A.). Nevertheless, methylene chloride is still a widely used solvent in a variety of consumer and commercial applications including adhesives and sealants, automotive products, and paint and coating removers. To address the identified unreasonable risk, EPA is proposing to: prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer use; prohibit most industrial and commercial uses of methylene chloride; require a workplace chemical protection program (WCPP), which would include a requirement to meet inhalation exposure concentration limits and exposure monitoring for certain continued conditions of use of methylene chloride; require recordkeeping and downstream notification requirements for several conditions of use of methylene chloride; and provide certain time-limited exemptions from requirements for uses of methylene chloride that would otherwise significantly disrupt national security and critical infrastructure.
Comments must be received on or before July 3, 2023. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before June 2, 2023.
Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2020–0465, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at https://www.epa.gov/dockets.