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No Need for Vinyl Chloride to be Added to TSCA Priority List

Jul 2016

Yesterday, the Environmental Working Group sent out a press release regarding chemicals they are pressuring the EPA to act on. Included in their laundry list of chemicals is vinyl chloride, which the Vinyl Institute opposes adding to the list, and here is why.

As one of the first chemicals on the initial TSCA priority list, vinyl chloride has been thoroughly studied and heavily regulated for the past 40 years in order to eliminate the risk of exposure to anyone.  Beginning in 1974, Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) adopted strict workplace exposure limits to assure that no employees are exposed above levels considered to be safe.  In 1976, EPA implemented strict limits in the Vinyl Chloride National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (VC NESHAP) on air and water emissions as well as allowable levels of residual vinyl chloride in PVC resins.  These limits have effectively reduced exposure to the workplace, consumers, and the environment.  

Since the implementation of OSHA and NESHAP regulations in 1976, the vinyl resin industry developed and applied new technology in their manufacturing facilities that significantly minimized worker and public exposure to vinyl chloride, resulting in no new cases of angiosarcoma in vinyl chloride facility workers who have come into the industry since 1976. In addition, the changes in manufacturing have reduced vinyl chloride emissions into the air and water by 83 percent since 1987, while vinyl resin production has increase 82 percent over the same time period.

The Vinyl Institute believes that the next 10 high priority chemicals for review should be drawn from the existing TSCA Chemical Work Plan: 2014 List, and chosen based on the significant work the EPA already has underway. In addition, the EPA evaluation process of all high priority chemicals for review should undergo a risk-based evaluation process, similar to the process required under NESHAP regulations.