EPA proposes new reporting requirement for nanomatierals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may soon use its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require companies that manufacture, import or process nanoscale materials — currently or in the future — to report information about those materials to the EPA. 

Under the TSCA Section 8(a) rule companies may be required to submit any test data they have about nanomatierals in use or to describe any data available to or known to them. The rule will not ask businesses to develop test data for the EPA. The reporting requirement would be a one time obligation.

"However, in view of the lack of information regarding chemical substances manufactured at the nanoscale, EPA would encourage respondents to this proposed rule to provide the Agency with any relevant data on chemical substances manufactured at the nanoscale they decide to develop," said the EPA.

Reportable information would include the following:

  • specific chemical identity
  • production volume
  • methods of manufacture and processing
  • use, exposure, and release information
  • available health and safety data

The EPA stated that they would use all gathered information to determine if nanomaterials require any further action under the TSCA. They added that each chemical substance or material would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, without any presumptions of harm or safety. 

According to the agency, it has assessed over 170 nanomaterials already and has taken action to control exposure for any chemical substances deemed harmful, pending development of information that allows the EPA to more fully understand potential risks. Data collected under this proposal would undoubtedly be used to fill in certain gaps of information surrounding nanoscale material.

Environmental consultants can help companies in a variety of industries understand and comply with reporting regulations for federal and state agencies.