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US EPA enacts SNUR for MWCNT-containing Dispersing Agent

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a significant new use ruling (SNUR) for a polymer of terephthalic acid and ethyl benzene with multi-walled carbon nanotube (generic). The polymer has also been made subject to a US TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) section 5(e) consent order as the Agency believes it to ‘present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health and the environment’.

The material is used as a dispersing agent for various resin systems, and the consent order puts into place five protective measures. These are:

  1. ‘Use of personal protective equipment involving impervious gloves and protective clothing (where there is a potential for dermal exposure) and a NIOSH-certified respirator with N-100, P-100, or R-100 cartridges (where there is a potential for inhalation exposure).
  2. Submission of certain physical-chemical data for the PMN substance within nine months of signing of the consent order.
  3. Submission of certain human health testing prior to exceeding the confidential production volume limit specified in the consent order.
  4. Processing and use of the PMN substance only for the confidential use specified in the consent order.
  5. No use of the substance resulting in releases to surface waters’

Any use of the material will be considered by the EPA to be a ‘significant new use’. The ruling requires ‘persons who intend to manufacture, import or process … the substance for an activity that is designated as a significant new use to notify the EPA at least 90 days before starting the activity’.


Follow this link to read the full ruling.

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