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EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride Sets The Stage for Potential Regulation – And Controversy

On October 29, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft risk evaluation for methylene chloride pursuant to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The draft addresses risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers and bystanders (from consumer use). The Environmental Defense Fund has criticized EPA’s draft risk evaluation on a number of grounds, including EPA’s assumption that workers will use personal protective equipment consistently and properly. Ultimately, the results of the risk evaluation may be integrated into TSCA restrictions and, possibly, even bans, on the use of methylene chloride. Methylene chloride has been used for years as…

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Attorney General Files Motion To Dismiss Federal Proposition 65 Acrylamide Warning Challenge

In October 2019, the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) filed a legal challenge to the Proposition 65 cancer warning requirement for acrylamide in food, alleging that imposing such a warning requirement violates the First Amendment. The California Attorney General, the defendant in the lawsuit, has now filed a motion to dismiss the challenge. The motion is set to be heard on December 20, 2019. Acrylamide was listed as a Proposition 65 carcinogen in 1990 and as a reproductive toxicant in 2011. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) developed an extremely conservative no significant risk level for cancer…

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DTSC Schedules Another Public Meeting on Food Packaging

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has scheduled a public meeting for November 19, 2019 to discuss the use of ortho-phthalates (OPs) and bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging. DTSC's announcement explains that the agency "has questions on a range of food packaging-related topics and is hosting [the] public meeting on November 19, 2019 in order to help answer them." According to the agency, "DTSC is concerned about the potential for dietary exposures to OPs and BPA from food packaging, and the potential adverse impacts these exposures may have on human health." In addition, on November 19, 2019,…

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OEHHA Proposes NSRL and Publishes Draft Cancer Inhalation Unit Risk Factor Document for PCBTF

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is proposing a No Significant Risk Level for p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (PCBTF) under Proposition 65, and has published a draft cancer inhalation unit risk factor (IUR) document for the chemical under the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program. The deadline for comments for both the proposed NSRL and the draft IUR document is December 2, 2019. OEHHA also is hosting two workshops, on November 13 (in Diamond Bar, CA) and 15 (in Oakland, CA), 2019, to discuss the draft IUR factor document. PCBTF is used in the preparation of dyes, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and as…

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Are Proposition 65 Warnings Affecting Consumer Perceptions of Product Safety?

A variety of recent news articles suggest that Proposition 65 warnings are affecting consumer perceptions of product safety, particularly consumers who live outside of California and are unfamiliar with California’s “right to know” act. A Minnesota grandfather was startled to find a Prop 65 cancer warning on his granddaughter’s tube of “slime” that she picked up as a prize at a local county fair. Since his discovery, he moved to start a “watchdog effort” to encourage more stringent regulation among the fair’s vendors. In Ohio, a school district returned a donation of backpacks loaded with school supplies after a Prop…

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