TSCA - Chemical Testing Issues

This Article introduces the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),1 and describes chemical substances for which testing could be conducted under TSCA, chemical testing that could be required, persons required to conduct the tests, procedures that have been considered for selecting test chemicals, and associated legal challenges.


The U.S. Congress enacted TSCA in 1976 to regulate the manufacture, processing, use, transportation, and disposal of certain chemical substances and to protect human health and the environment by requiring testing and use restrictions on these chemical substances.2 In general, these chemicals do not include substances that are used only as pesticides, tobacco products, nuclear materials, foods, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. TSCA§4 provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to promulgate rules requiring manufacturers, importers, and processors to test certain new or existing chemical substances or mixtures for their effects on human health and the environment. These data can be used, in turn, to help EPA, other federal agencies, and state and local governments to determine both whether and how to regulate or control potentially hazardous chemicals. In addition to developing test rules under TSCA §4, EPA also uses enforceable consent agreements (ECAs) and voluntary testing programs, such as the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program and theVoluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP), to generate data.

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