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EPA proposes methylene chloride ban

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a ban on most uses of methylene chloride (or dichloromethane) under the Toxic Substances Control Act, on the grounds that exposure can lead to severe health impacts. This makes it the second chemical, after asbestos, to undergo risk management under the reformed process created by the 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

Evonik penalised for emissions

Evonik has reached a settlement with the US EPA for exceeding permitted emission limits of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol at its speciality surfactants facility in Reserve, Louisiana. Both are regulated as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) under the Clean Air Act.

This followed an inspection on 18 April 2033 and an information request on 27 September, which concluded that emissions had exceeded the permitted levels. Evonik shut down the operations from 18 November until 3 February 2023, when it installed a temporary flare that can remove 98% or more of HAP emissions.

Feature article - Solutions for solvent sustainability

Paul Vanden Branden, director and product manager at laboratory equipment supplier SciMed, examines the potential of supercritical CO2 to supplant environmentally harmful solvent in extractions and separations

The environmental and financial challenges associated with widely used organic solvents are severe. To reach sustainability goals, laboratories around the world must wean themselves off these long relied-upon hydrocarbons and pursue greener alternatives.

BFRs face EU restriction

Within the Restrictions Roadmap under the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, ECHA has released its Regulatory Strategy for Flame Retardants (FRs). This refers mainly to halogenated FRs and organophosphorus-based FRs, which make up about 70% of the organic FR market.

The strategy identified aromatic brominated FEs (BFRs) as candidates for EU-wide restriction on five classes of aromatic BFRs that are already or will be confirmed to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, or very persistent and very bioaccumulative, or identified as substances of very high concern.

Most SVHC users compliant, Enforcement Forum finds

An EU-wide project by ECHA’s Enforcement Forum carried out in 2021 has found that most users of substances of commonly controlled very high concern (SVHCs), mainly SMEs, already comply with the authorisation requirement to control risks.

The authorities of all 28 member countries undertook 690 inspections at 516 companies, mostly SVHCs. The most common SVHCs checked were chromium trioxide and strontium chromate, which are used mainly in surface treatment and chrome plating.

Lanxess develops carbon calculation tool

Lanxess has announced the development of the Product Carbon Footprint Engine, which takes data from its various business units and automatically calculates cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas emissions for their products. This includes production, product-specific emissions related to raw materials, energy, operating materials, and transport and emissions from waste disposal.

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