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EPA Announces Chemical Action Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, as part of its efforts to enhance chemicals management under the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, has released action plans on four targeted chemicals: phthalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, polybrominated diphenyl ethers—PBDEs—and perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA.

Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, released a set of core principles in September 2009 to strengthen U.S. chemical management laws and announced a comprehensive approach to enhance chemical management under existing laws. EPA will use TSCA section 5(b)(4) authority to create a list of chemicals of concern. Additionally, EPA will be pursuing Section 6 action, which allows the agency to choose from a variety of regulatory options, if it finds that a chemical “presents or will present an unreasonable risk.”

Dr. John Durkee, Metal Finishing’s “Cleaning Times” columnist and an independent consultant specializing in metal and critical cleaning, put the EPA’s action plan into perspective with regard to relevance to finishers. “Short-chain chlorinated paraffins are high-shear lubricants used in forming operations: extrusion, pressure forming of fittings (bolts, pins, screws), and perhaps some stampings,” he explained, noting that the chlorinated part helps the lubricant to stay effective during high temperature shear conditions in a die. “So these are ‘soils’ a finisher might use in the fabrication of some part, which he will later finish.”

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Cleaning, Pretreatment & Surface Preparation  •  Environmental & Regulatory Compliance


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