News Releases from Headquarters›Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
EPA Takes Action to Reduce Exposure to TCE in Art and Crafts Spray Fixatives
WASHINGTON - After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) assessment of trichloroethylene or TCE showed risk, the sole manufacturer of a fixative product using TCE voluntarily withdrew it from the marketplace. The EPA is now taking action to ensure no other manufacturers including importers enter the marketplace before EPA has the opportunity to prohibit or limit these uses.
"EPA commends PLZ Aeroscience Corporation for removing TCE from its arts and crafts spray fixative product," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the office of chemical safety and pollution prevention. "EPA is putting into place a level playing field to ensure importers and domestic manufacturers do not re-enter the marketplace before EPA has an opportunity to review."
In a separate regulatory action under the Toxic Substances Control Act, EPA aims to reduce the risks from TCE in aerosol and vapor degreasing and as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning facilities.
Today's rule, known as a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR), requires anyone intending to initiate manufacture, including the import or processing of TCE for new uses to notify EPA at least 90 days before doing so. The notification will allow EPA to evaluate the intended use and to take appropriate action.
The TCE spray fixative product was used by artists, picture framers, graphic designers and printers to provide a water repellant and protective finish.
EPA's June 2014 Work Plan Chemical Risk Assessment for TCE identified health risks associated with several TCE uses, including the arts and craft spray fixative use, aerosol and vapor degreasing, and as a spotting agent in dry cleaning facilities. In 2015, EPA worked with the only U.S. manufacturer of the TCE spray fixative product, PLZ Aeroscience Corporation of Addison, Illinois, resulting in an agreement to stop production of the TCE containing product and to reformulate the product with an alternate chemical.
A few current uses of TCE, such as use in cleaners and solvent degreasers, film cleaners, lubricants, mirror edge sealants, and pepper spray, are not subject to the final rule.
This final rule is effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Once published, the publication can be found in the Federal Register docket at www.regulations.gov by searching for EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0697.
A pre-publication copy of the final rule and more information can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/trichloroethylene-tce
Learn more about EPA's TSCA Work Plan Assessments.