As of January 26, 2017, we believe the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still exercising their new authority under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the outdated (and ineffective) Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).

On Nov. 29, 2016, the EPA named the first ten priority chemicals for assessment. EPA is tasked with evaluating these chemicals to ensure there is not an unreasonable risk of injury to health.  This determination is made without consideration to costs. In determining risk, EPA is required to consider vulnerable populations including: workers, infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Although we have already witnessed changes at EPA, we do anticipate that TSCA reform work will continue to move forward. The 2016 reform was passed with bipartisan support.

The ten priority chemicals to be evaluated are: 1,4-Dioxane, 1-Bromopropane, Asbestos, Carbon Tetrachloride, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster, Methylene Chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, Pigment Violet 29, Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, and Trichloroethylene.

Don’t recognize any of these chemicals? The Environmental Defense Fund has developed an excellent factsheet on products that contain these chemicals.  And for more information on how TSCA may impact workplaces, see the National Institute for Health Sciences Factsheet.

Share Your Story

Do you have a story to share about exposure to one of the priority chemicals? WEC is working with allies to gather stories of occupational exposure to submit to EPA. The deadline is March 1, 2017. Please contact Debra Coyle McFadden at, or learn where to submit your comments directly to EPA here.

For more information, please join our allies in a webinar, Help Make TSCA Matter for Workers,
on Tuesday, January 31st at 4 pm EST

Click here to register!

This webinar is produced by the American Public Health Association Occupational Health and Safety Section, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, BlueGreen Alliance, Earthjustice, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) and the United Steelworkers (USW).