EPA Mandates Skin Absorption Tests

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On April 26, 2004, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requiring manufacturers and processors of 34 chemicals to conduct in vitro dermalabsorption-rate testing. OSHA has identified the data necessary for these chemicals and intends to use the data obtained under the rule to evaluate the need for 'skin designations.' Such skin designations alert employers, industrial hygienists and workers to the potential exposure to a chemical via absorption through the skin. A skin designation may result in changed workplace practices and enhanced personal protective equipment. The rule covers significantly more entities than previous TSCA rules. So, it is important for companies to understand the new tiered system to determine their regulatory obligations.

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