EPA Releases Final Risk Evaluation for Trichloroethylene and Potential Exposure Hazards in Puerto Rico
The environmental and industrial hygiene experts at Zimmetry Environmental provide testing services for TCE and other chemical hazards in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- In late November of last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Final Risk Evaluation for Trichloroethylene. The document addresses the agency’s determinations on which conditions of use may present unreasonable risks to the environment and human health. It was completed as part of the agency’s mission under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that has been used worldwide and in Puerto Rico. It is an ongoing concern at some of the Superfund sites, hazardous waste locations and other areas across the islands. TCE does break down rather quickly in air, but it breaks down slowly in soil and water.
In the EPA’s risk evaluation, the agency assessed 54 conditions of trichloroethylene use, including various industrial and commercial uses. While the agency found no unreasonable risk to the environment for any conditions of use, it did find unreasonable risks to human health from 52 out of the 54 conditions of use.
- Consumers and Bystanders: EPA found unreasonable risks to consumers and bystanders from all but one consumer use of TCE. Consumer uses include cleaning and furniture care products, arts and crafts spray coatings, and automotive care products like brake cleaners. Risks to consumers can come from short-term inhalation and dermal exposure. EPA did not find consumer use of pepper spray to present an unreasonable risk.
- Workers and Occupational Non-Users: EPA found unreasonable risks to workers from all occupational uses of TCE, except for distribution in commerce. Additionally, EPA found unreasonable risks from most commercial uses of this chemical to workers nearby, but not in direct contact with TCE. Common commercial uses are as a solvent in industrial cleaning/degreasing, an ingredient in adhesive/sealant removers, in paints and coatings, and in automotive care products like brake cleaners. Risks to workers and occupational non-users can come from both short- and long-term inhalation and dermal exposure.
“TCE is a significant concern for anyone living or working in proximity to sites where it is used, was produced or waste sites containing it,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “It is also known to migrate into homes and buildings built above contaminated soil or groundwater in a process known as vapor intrusion. TCE exposure can cause a myriad of health concerns, including cancer according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”
To identify and mitigate TCE and other potential chemical exposure risks, Zimmetry’s industrial hygiene and environmental experts provide testing and consulting services to safeguard workers and the public. Several years back, Zimmetry also sponsored an educational video about TCE and exposure risks that can still be seen at: http://youtu.be/DetCE36YMHs
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, environmental, health, safety or compliance services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.