Q. What is the Formaldehyde TSCA Risk Evaluation Consortium?

A cornerstone of the TSCA risk evaluation process is the engagement and involvement of the chemical industry to provide relevant human health data, animal laboratory study data, and exposure data to inform EPA’s risk evaluations. The chemical industry is fully committed to supporting EPA’s effective and efficient implementation of TSCA.

Formaldehyde stakeholders have formed a consortium to develop and communicate science to inform the TSCA risk evaluation. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) Center for Chemical Safety serves as the hub for consortium engagement throughout the TSCA risk evaluation process.

Q. How will the Formaldehyde TSCA Risk Evaluation Consortium engage with EPA?

During the TSCA process, the Consortium, like all stakeholders, will have opportunities to provide input to EPA through the public comment periods and stakeholder meetings.

Q. What type of “scientific evidence” does EPA require?

TSCA requires the use of the best available science, meaning that information must be of the highest quality in order to be included in the review. This type of evidence includes information on the hazard and exposure potential of the chemical substance; persistence and bioaccumulation; potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations; the conditions of use or significant changes in the conditions of use of the chemical substance; and the volume or significant changes in the volume of the chemical substance manufactured or processed.

Q. Does the Formaldehyde TSCA Risk Evaluation Consortium support formaldehyde being reviewed under TSCA?

Formaldehyde has been highly regulated by a number of agencies and exposures are well managed, including by EPA under TSCA Title VI, Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products, the most stringent formaldehyde product emissions standard in the world today. Industry fully supports risk-based reviews of chemicals in commerce using transparent science-based standards that include a weight-of-evidence approach and consider the best-available science to make a risk determination.

Q: Should workers in industries where formaldehyde is highly used be concerned about TSCA reviewing formaldehyde?

EPA has made clear that designation as a high priority chemical “does not constitute a finding of risk” and should not be cause for concern.

Formaldehyde plays an integral role in a wide variety of industrial applications across the automotive, aviation, textile, energy, and building and construction sectors. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards for workplace exposures to formaldehyde. These comprehensive health standards include limits on permissible exposures, requirements for monitoring employee exposures in the workplace, protective measures—including engineering controls, medical surveillance and communication—and training about hazards. Current standards, such as the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard, 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1048, protect the health of millions of workers and provide effective workplace controls for the production, storage, handling, and use of this important chemical.

Q. Does formaldehyde cause leukemia?

After years of study, and hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications, the weight of the scientific evidence supports the conclusions that formaldehyde does not cause leukemia and there are clearly defined safe thresholds for formaldehyde exposure. These thresholds have been utilized by international scientific and regulatory bodies to develop risk-based exposure levels.

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