Last week, the EPA announced a proposal to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic compound used in products such cleaning and furniture care, degreasers, and at various processes in the auto industry. This proposed band would eliminate exposure from the manufacturing and processing of the chemical through the its distribution.
For the majority of uses of TCE, safer alternatives are readily available and already in use. The proposed ban would prohibit most uses of TCE within one year, with the exception of limited Federal uses which will have a longer transition period and require tougher protections for workers to reduce TCE exposure.
TCE is classified by the EPA as a chemical known to cause serious health risks including cancer, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity. It has left a toxic footprint in communities across the country where it has been dumped or spilled resulting in land and water pollution and impacting human health. TCE is the chemical of concern in some of Mundell’s recent projects in Franklin, Indiana surrounding the former Amphenol industrial site.
The proposal aligns with President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, a whole-of-government approach to end cancer, as well as advancing the administration’s commitment to environmental justice in communities impacted by pollution and environmental hazards.
In the EPA’s press release on the proposed ban, Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Preventio, commented on this monumental step in protecting citizens and communities, “…[the EPA] is taking a major step to protect people from exposure to this cancer-causing chemical. Today’s proposal to end these unsafe, unrestricted uses of TCE will prevent future contamination to land and drinking water and deliver the chemical safety protections this nation deserves.” (Read the full press release)