By Chris Kozak, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
The National Toxicology Program (an arm of the National Institutes of Health) recently published three draft technical reports on substances widely used in commercial manufacturing and other processes. It is soliciting comments on the drafts, to be considered at an upcoming meeting on April 2, 2021. The draft reports are available here. Comments are due by March 19, 2021.
The first item, sodium tungstate dihydrate (“ST”), is commonly used in fire- and waterproofing fabrics and in other chemical applications. It was nominated because humans are often exposed to ST in drinking water, and it was not clear based on current research whether it was a carcinogen. The draft report concludes that there is, at most, only equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity in some rats.
The second item, di-n-butyl phthalate (“DBP”), is used in the manufacture of plastics and personal care products. Humans are frequently exposed to it, particularly during pregnancy and lactation. It was also nominated due to the lack of existing research. The draft report concludes that there is, at most, equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity in some rats.
The third item, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (“DEHP”), is a member of the phthalate ester chemical class that occurs commonly in the environment and to which humans are widely exposed, particularly in utero and early postnatal life. It was also nominated due to lack of data. The draft report concludes that there is clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in all rats tested.
Environmental lawyers whose practice may involve these substances should consider monitoring the drafts and the upcoming meeting for further developments.