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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for o-Dichlorobenzene

EPA designated o-dichlorobenzene as a high priority chemical in December 2019 and the chemical is currently undergoing risk evaluation.

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Background on o-Dichlorobenzene

o-Dichlorobenzene (CASRN 95-50-1) is a colorless liquid, with a pleasant, aromatic odor. The primary uses for o-dichlorobenzene are in the manufacturing of dyes, paints, and pigments and in products used for cleaning, degreasing, and painting. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for o-dichlorobenzene indicates the reported production volume is between 100,000 and 500,000 lbs/year.

Uses of o-Dichlorobenzene

In the final scope, EPA identified conditions of use associated with the importing; processing; distribution in commerce; industrial, commercial and consumer uses; and disposal of o-dichlorobenzene, for example:

  • As an intermediate, solvent, or processing aid in the manufacturing of basic organic chemicals, plastic material and resins, and other chemical products and preparation;
  • As an industrial solvent in the manufacturing of printing ink, paints and coatings, synthetic dyes and pigments, and other basic organic chemicals;
  • In ink, toner, and colorant products;
  • In paints and coatings (including paint thinners and paint removers); and
  • In lubricants and greases (including degreasers).

The above listed conditions of use are ways that a person or the environment could be potentially exposed to this chemical. However, when conducting a risk evaluation, EPA also considers the hazards (i.e. health effects or environmental impacts) that could occur from coming in contact with a chemical.

Recent Activities and Opportunities for Public Comment

In August 2020, EPA published a final scope document outlining the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the agency expects to consider in its risk evaluation. The agency released the draft scope in April 2020 and took public comments on the draft document.

As EPA continues to move through the risk evaluation process there will be additional opportunities for public comment, including a public comment period on the draft risk evaluation. In addition to public comment periods, EPA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it refines the risk evaluation and stakeholders should reach out to EPA via the staff contact to engage with EPA.