The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised Significant New Use Rulings (SNUR) for 36 chemical substances; these rulings will take effect from 3 November 2014. Several of the regulated substances will be nanomaterials.
The SNURs will ‘require persons who intend to manufacture or process any of these 36 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use […] to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity’. The significant new uses for the nanomaterials contained are mostly based around ‘protection in the workplace’, ‘industrial, commercial, and consumer activities’, and ‘release to water’. These nanomaterials are:
- Multi-walled carbon nanotube (generic) (P-08-0392)
- Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (generic) (P-09-257)
- Multi-walled carbon nanofibers (generic) (PMNs P-10-115, P-10-116, P-10-117, P-10-118, P-10-119, P-10-120, P-10-121, P-10-122, P-10-123, P-10-124, P-10-125, and P-10-126)
- Carbide derived nanocarbon (generic)
EPA also highlighted comments sent to it from when these SNURs were first proposed in its ruling; one of these comments calls for EPA to ‘adopt the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 1 microgram/cubic metre for carbon nanotubes’. EPA responded that ‘because of the uncertainty surrounding the NIOSH REL […], EPA will not adopt [it] at this time because EPA cannot determine that potential exposures at the REL may not present an unreasonable risk’.
Follow this link to read the full ruling.