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Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

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The objective of the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) is to allow EPA to regulate new commercial chemicals before they enter the market, to regulate existing chemicals (1976) when they pose an unreasonable risk to health or to the environment, and to regulate their distribution and use.

Summary of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Agriculture-Related Requirements

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Facility Maintenance
Health and Safety
Toxics

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Child Safety
Health and Safety
Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance and Repair

Text of law and related regulations
Toxic Substances Control Act Exit EPA
Toxics Regulations: 40 CFR Parts 700-799 (Parts 700-789; Parts 790-799)

More information from states Exit EPA
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) - Representing the state departments of agriculture in the development, implementation, and communication of sound public policy and programs which support and promote the American agricultural industry, while protecting consumers and the environment.
EZregs - University of Illinois Extension Web site that identifies environmental regulations that pertain to specific agricultural and horticultural operations and practices in Illinois.

TSCA compliance and enforcement
Policies and Guidance for TSCA
TSCA Enforcement
Multimedia Enforcement Division
Protocol for Conducting Environmental Compliance Audits of Facilities with PCBs, Asbestos, and Lead-based Paint Regulated under TSCA (PDF) (240 pp, 1MB)

Telephone assistance from EPA  
TSCA Assistance Information Service:  202-554-1404

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Overview of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

The Toxic Substances Control Act granted EPA authority to create a regulatory framework to collect data on chemicals in order to evaluate, assess, mitigate, and control risks that may be posed by their manufacture, processing, and use. TSCA provides a variety of control methods to prevent chemicals from posing unreasonable risk.

TSCA standards may apply at any point during a chemical's life cycle. Under TSCA Section 5, EPA has established an inventory of chemical substances. If a chemical is not already on the inventory, and has not been excluded by TSCA, a premanufacture notice (PMN) must be submitted to EPA before   manufacture or import. The PMN must identify the chemical and provide available information on health and environmental effects. If available data are not sufficient to evaluate the chemical's effects, EPA can impose restrictions pending the development of information on its health and environmental effects. EPA can also restrict significant new uses of chemicals based on factors such as the projected volume and use of the chemical.

Under TSCA Section 6, EPA can ban manufacture or distribution in commerce, limit use, require labeling, or place other restrictions on chemicals that pose unreasonable risks. Among the chemicals EPA regulates under Section 6 authority are asbestos, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), lead, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

More information from EPA
The TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory

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Asbestos

Asbestos is the name for a group of naturally occurring minerals that separate into strong, very fine fibers. The fibers are heat-resistant and extremely durable. Because of these qualities, asbestos has become very useful in construction and industry.

Asbestos tends to break down into a dust of microscopic fibers. Because of their size and shape, these tiny fibers remain suspended in the air for long periods of time and can easily penetrate body tissues after being inhaled or ingested. Because of their durability, these fibers can remain in the body for many years and thereby become the cause of asbestos-related diseases. Symptoms of these diseases generally do not appear for 10 to 30 years after the exposure. Therefore, long before its effects are detectable, asbestos-related injury to the body may have already occurred. There is no safe level of exposure known; therefore, exposure to friable asbestos should be avoided

Asbestos and Agriculture 
Buildings on agricultural establishments and agribusinesses may contain asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Used for insulation and as a fire retardant, asbestos and ACMs can be found in a variety of building construction materials, including pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paint and other coating materials, and floor tiles. Asbestos may also be found in vehicle brakes. Buildings built in the sixties are more likely to have asbestos-containing sprayed- or troweled-on friable materials than other buildings

Related topic
Toxics

Related environmental requirements
Toxic Substance Control Act: Exit EPA
40 CFR Part 763

More information from EPA
Asbestos
Asbestos and NESHAP: Common Questions on the Asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) - The Asbestos NESHAP regulations protect the public by minimizing the release of asbestos fibers during activities involving the processing, handling, and disposal of asbestos-containing material.

Telephone assistance from EPA
Asbestos Information Hotline: 800-438-2474
Asbestos Ombudsman: 800-368-5888

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Lead-Based Paint

In 1978, EPA banned the manufacture and use of lead-based paint and lead-based paint products. Current studies suggest that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead contaminated dust, and lead contaminated residential soil. EPA is playing a major role in addressing these residential lead hazards. Lead-based paint chips and dust, if ingested, can create severe, long-term health effects, especially for children. Lead is a known carcinogen and, through any exposure pathway, may result in significant health effects.

Lead-Based Paint and Agriculture
Lead-based paint on an agricultural establishment or agribusiness farm will typically be found on interiors and exteriors of buildings constructed before1978.  During renovation and demolition, paint removal has the potential to impact human health and the environment as fibers, dust, and paint chips are released. Paint chips and dust can cause indoor air contamination during renovation, and soil contamination from demolition or improper disposal.

Related topic  
Toxics 

Related environmental requirements
Toxic Substance Control Act Exit EPA
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
40 CFR Part 35
40 CFR Part 745

More information from EPA
Lead Programs

Telephone assistance from EPA
National Lead Information Center: 800-424-LEAD

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Polychlorinated Biphenyls

PCBs are mixtures of synthetic organic chemicals with the same basic chemical structure and physical properties ranging from oily liquids to waxy solids. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment, as plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products, in pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper and many other applications.

PCBs have significant ecological and human health effects, including carcinogenicity (probable human cancer-causing or cancer-promoting agent), neurotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, immune system suppression, liver damage, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption. These toxic effects have been observed from both acute and chronic exposures to PCB mixtures with varying chlorine content. PCBs do not break down readily in the environment, and are taken into the food chain by microorganisms. PCBs are then biologically accumulated and concentrated at levels much higher than found in the surrounding environment, thus posing a greater risk of injury to human health and the environment than might be imagined.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Agriculture
Types of equipment on agricultural establishments and agribusinesses potentially containing PCBs include transformers and their bushings, capacitors, reclosers, regulators, electric light ballasts, and oil switches. Any equipment containing PCBs in their dielectric fluid at concentrations of greater than 50 ppm are subject to the PCB requirements. Human food or animal feed must not be exposed to PCBs. Therefore, transformers and other items containing PCBs must not be located near food or feed.

Related topic  
Toxics 

Related environmental requirements
Toxic Substances Control Act Exit EPA
40 CFR Part 761

More information from EPA
PCB Program

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