ACC & API Launch Workgroup for Naphthalene Regulation

Naphthalene is regulated by the EPA, OSHA, and the Department of Transportation.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

July 7, 2024

2 Min Read
ACC and API Workgroup for Naphthalene holding webinar
The Workgroup is holding a webinar on July 11 discussing their plans.Luisrftc/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) have formed a new industry coalition called the Naphthalene Workgroup.

The two associations are working together to respond to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of the release of the draft IRIS Assessment for Naphthalene in 2025, as well as to monitor EPA’s 2023 decision to pre-prioritize naphthalene, among other chemistries, under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The group also plans to review and comment on the draft toxicological profile for naphthalene released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in May 2024.

Naphthalene is an aromatic carbon that is used in petroleum-derived fuels and as a component of crude oil and coal tar; in the polymers industry, particularly in the manufacturing of resins and plastics; in the production of surfactants, which are primary components of detergents and other cleaning products; and in the production of synthetic dyes.

In chemical manufacturing, naphthalene is a key raw material to produce various chemicals and products, including resins, plastics, dyes, and pesticides.

This essential chemistry is regulated by various agencies within the US government, including the EPA, OSHA, and the Department of Transportation, providing oversight of naphthalene’s production, use, storage, transportation, and disposal.

In addition to federal regulations, naphthalene can also be subject to regulations imposed by state and local authorities. These regulations may include additional requirements for handling, storage, and disposal of naphthalene-containing products and wastes at the local level.

The draft IRIS assessment, which the group formed to address, is an EPA assessment of potential health hazards associated with exposure to naphthalene. This assessment could play a critical role in informing regulatory decisions and public health policies regarding the use and management of naphthalene, but the IRIS program has received widespread criticism that it fails to utilize the best available science and methods, lacks transparency, and is unresponsive to peer review and stakeholder comments and recommendations.

The Naphthalene Workgroup plans to monitor and prepare for EPA’s pre-prioritization of naphthalene under TSCA, which mandates identifying chemicals that warrant further evaluation due to potential risks to human health or the environment. In September 2023, EPA proposed 15 substances for pre-prioritization, including naphthalene. Although it was not subsequently designated as a high priority for risk evaluation in December 2023, it is likely that it will be prioritized within the next few years.

The Workgroup is holding an informational webinar for manufacturers and processors of naphthalene on July 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Members of the workgroup will provide critical background on these federal actions and the potential impact on industry, the impetus for the coalition’s formation, the members’ perspectives on the regulatory proposals in question, and how you can become involved.

Register here for the Workgroup webinar on naphthalene.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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