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EPA Discloses 'Confidential' Chemicals EPA Discloses 'Confidential' Chemicals EPA Discloses 'Confidential' Chemicals EPA Discloses 'Confidenti...

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Energy / environment

EPA Discloses 'Confidential' Chemicals

photo of Amy Harder
June 8, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday it was releasing the names of more than 150 chemicals, used in products like air fresheners and stain-resistant materials, that industry had said were confidential ingredients. 

“This action to disclose the identity of more than 150 chemicals is an important step in EPA’s commitment to give the American people access to critical information about chemicals that their children and families may be exposed to,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, in a statement. “A health and safety study with the chemical name kept secret is completely useless to the public.” 

The chemicals are found in products reviewed in 104 health and safety studies. Their names had been omitted because industry had argued that full ingredient lists were confidential, business-sensitive information.

 

In 2010, EPA challenged industry to voluntarily declassify the chemicals. At the same time, the agency issued new guidance outlining plans to deny confidentiality claims like this under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Based on this guidance, the agency notified companies in February that it had determined their claim was not eligible for confidential treatment under the TSCA. Companies did voluntarily disclose some information, but it wasn’t clear what specific information.

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