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EPA Proposes SNUR for Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes (Generic)

On October 11, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed significant new use rules (SNUR) for 31 chemical substances, including multiwalled carbon nanotubes (generic), that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN).  84 Fed. Reg. 54816.  EPA notes that eight of the chemical substances are subject to orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) issued by EPA.  The effective date of the TSCA Section 5(e) order for multiwalled carbon nanotubes (generic) was May 3, 2019.  According to EPA, the PMN states that multiwalled carbon nanotubes (generic) will be used in heat transfer, heat storage, thermal emission, and general temperature management in heat-generating systems, such as electronics, to improve mechanical properties or electrical conductivities of other materials or products and for light absorption properties.  The proposed SNUR states that EPA identified concerns for pulmonary toxicity based on carbon nanotube analogues and for aquatic toxicity when the substance is at low concentrations and in the presence of natural organic matter.  EPA issued the consent order under TSCA Sections 5(a)(3)(B)(ii)(I) and 5(e)(1)(A)(ii)(I), based on a finding that in the absence of sufficient information to permit a reasoned evaluation, the substance may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health and the environment.  To protect against these risks, the TSCA Section 5(e) order requires:

  1. Use of personal protective equipment by workers to prevent dermal exposure where there is potential dermal exposure;

  2. Use of a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) certified respirators with an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of at least 50 workers to prevent inhalation exposure where there is potential inhalation exposure;

  3. Refrain from using the PMN in applications that generates a dust, vapor, mist, or aerosol, unless such application method occurs in an enclosed process;

  4. Process and use of the PMN substance only as described in the PMN;

  5. No release of the PMN substance to surface waters; and

  6. Disposal only by incineration or landfill.

The proposed SNUR would designate as a “significant new use” the absence of these protective measures.  Comments are due November 12, 2019.

©2019 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Owner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy...

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Carla Hutton, Bergeson Campbell PC, global regulatory attorney, public health activists lawyer, metals industry legal counsel, Toxic Substances Control Act law
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to client initiatives. These tasks have proven invaluable to many clients, keeping them aware and abreast of developing issues so that they can respond in kind and prepare for the future of their business.

Ms. Hutton brings a wealth of experience and judgment to her work in federal, state, and international chemical regulatory and legislative issues, including green chemistry, nanotechnology, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Proposition 65, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program.

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