The Vinyl Institute on Oct. 13 released a statement saying it welcomed a potential fast track health review of vinyl chloride monomer, after a news report said the Environmental Protection Agency had put VCM on a short list of chemicals it could study.
EPA has not taken any new public action, but VI said it was responding to an Oct. 5 story from InsideEPA.com that said EPA has put VCM on a list of 15 legacy chemicals that it may subject to stepped-up reviews under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
EPA officials had said in August that it may put VCM on a list of five chemicals it planned to announce later this year for stepped-up review under TSCA.
The InsideEPA.com story said EPA had recently met separately with both industry and environmental groups to discuss its work plans and disclosed the list of 15 that it plans to whittle down to five by the end of the year, including VCM.
VI said in its statement that it was confident that any EPA review would conclude that VCM is safe.
"We welcome EPA's review, which will further assure that production of vinyl chloride and PVC products are safe," said Ned Monroe, VI's president and CEO. "Manufacturers of vinyl chloride adhere to some of the most stringent safety and environmental regulations in the chemical industry."
"Should the agency decide to prioritize vinyl chloride, an extensive body of research and data will support the prioritization and risk evaluation process," he said. "We welcome the process as an opportunity to correct misunderstanding about the regulation of vinyl chloride manufacturing and the safety of PVC products."
Environmental and community groups have been pressuring EPA to include VCM on its next list of TSCA legacy chemicals to review, pointing to the February train derailment and burn off of VCM in Ohio and government studies questioning the safety of vinyl chloride.
Besides VCM, EPA's list of 15 reportedly includes bisphenol-A and benzene, the InsideEPA.com story said.