Chapter 8 – Regulation of Chemicals: From Toxic Substance Control to Chemical Safety


The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates both new and existing chemicals. A TSCA inventory lists over 86,000 existing chemicals currently used in commerce. For chemicals not in the inventory, manufacturers are required to submit a premanufacture notice (PMN) to EPA prior to putting the chemical into commerce. The 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended TSCA to require EPA to make an affirmative finding that a new chemical is safe under the conditions of its intended use. The amendments strengthened regulation of existing chemicals by using a risk-based system to prioritize reviews and repealing the requirement that regulation must be least burdensome alternative. EPA can issue significant new use restrictions (SNURs) when necessary to prevent an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment from use of a chemical.