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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for Trans-1,2- Dichloroethylene

EPA designated trans-1,2- dichloroethylene as a high priority chemical in December 2019 and the chemical is currently undergoing risk evaluation.

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Background on Trans-1,2- Dichloroethylene

Trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (CASRN 156-60-5) is a colorless liquid, with a sharp, harsh odor, and is highly flammable. The primary uses for trans-1,2-dichloroethylene are as a solvent in processing and in formulations for cleaning and degreasing. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for trans-1,2-dichloroethylene indicates the reported production volume is between 1 million and 10  million lbs/year.

Uses of Trans-1,2- Dichloroethylene

In the final scope, EPA identified conditions of use associated with the manufacturing (including importing); processing; distribution in commerce; industrial, commercial and consumer uses; and disposal of trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, for example:

  • As an intermediate in chemical product manufacture;
  • As a solvent for cleaning and degreasing;
  • As a propellant and blowing agent;
  • As a reactant for plating and surface treating agents;
  • In adhesives and sealants;
  • In spot cleaners and stain removers;
  • In lubricants and greases;
  • In refrigerants; and
  • In aerosol and non-aerosol 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 the agency.