Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio — Scott Boito is used to being the bearer of bad news. It comes with being a product steward for chemical intermediates at Eastman Chemical Co.
And giving the regulatory update during the recent Hose & Belt Manufacturers Conference in Cuyahoga Falls didn't change that. Changes, he warned, are underway or on the horizon in both the U.S. and Europe.
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency is conducting 22 high-priority risk evaluations. It's a three-year process, and the agency is a little more than halfway through. The investigations will include seven phthalates, including DEHP, which he said likely will have the most impact on hose and belt makers. Other chemicals being evaluated include several chlorinated substances, three flame retardants and formaldehyde.
"We will start to see some restrictions on manufacturing that [do not] currently exist for many of these substances," Boito said. "We will see some restrictions on shipping for these products, and probably start to see some restrictions on end uses."
The EPA also has proposed completely reformatting its method of hazard and risk assessments on new and existing chemicals. Boito said evaluations of new materials are seeing severe delays. Instead of 90-day reviews, the process is taking longer than two years for each evaluation.