"EPA Solvent Rule Said to Signal Hurdles Ahead for US Industries"

"The EPA’s recent proposal to limit a potentially deadly solvent’s use and production signals challenges for diverse industries as the agency prepares to release more rules restricting widely used chemicals, according to an industry attorney.

A proposed rule the Environmental Protection Agency released on April 20 would ban methylene chloride—an ingredient in adhesives, sealants, and more—in all consumer products and most commercial and industrial ones.

The rule would require factories and military sites that continue to make or use the solvent to cut workers’ exposure significantly below the limit set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The EPA’s proposed limit of 2 parts per million (ppm) is 92% less than OSHA’s 25 ppm standard, which is less than the limits in some other industrialized countries.

Information the agency has released about other chemicals it plans to regulate suggests the 92% reduction could pale in comparison to the workplace limits that the agency could propose for other chemicals, said W. Caffey Norman, a senior partner with Squire Patton Boggs."

Pat Rizzuto reports for Bloomberg Environment April 25, 2023.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 04/26/2023