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Martha Marrapese Discusses Impact of TSCA on Adhesive and Cleaning Products

Bloomberg Law: Environment & Energy Report
July 11, 2018

Martha E. Marrapese, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Environment & Safety and Consumer Product Regulation practices, was quoted extensively in Bloomberg Environment's coverage of a recent webinar presented by Wiley Rein and the consulting firm Exponent. According to the article, companies that make adhesives, cleaners, and motor oils may face government scrutiny as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins evaluating products containing any of 10 chemicals singled out under the 2016 Toxic Substances Controls Act.

The initial focus of the EPA’s risk evaluation is primarily on flame retardants used in building materials, plastics, and textiles, said Ms. Marrapese. Consumer product manufacturers and other “downstream” users have previously relied on chemical suppliers to address TSCA regulations, Ms. Marrapese told Bloomberg Law’s Environment & Energy Report. “The tide has turned. That is no longer the paradigm,” she said.

“Downstream companies can’t rely on chemical manufacturers having all the information the EPA needs,” with respect to consumer use and exposure, said Ms. Marrapese.

Companies, groups, and industries may want to consider developing aggregate exposure models, or using the EPA’s computer software model, to better assess consumer exposure, according to information presented in the webinar. Ms. Marrapese said if the EPA model raises concerns, companies should contact their trade association for more information.

Because of the EPA’s tight deadlines, it “has very little incentive to do anything more than use its [own] models,” said Ms. Marrapese. Companies should be incentivized to provide their own data to the EPA to improve the agency’s exposure projections, and to better inform the government and the public regarding the safety of their product, she concluded.