ETAD Raises Concerns over EPA's Focus on Dyes

August 26, 2010

2 Min Read
ETAD Raises Concerns over EPA's Focus on Dyes

The North American members of a group representing dye manufacturers has expressed support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to strengthen U.S. chemical safety laws, while questioning the agency’s recent decision to examine the potential health risk of benzidine dyes.

On August 18, the EPA announced chemical action plans to address the possible “risks associated with chemicals commonly used in this country,” including benzidine dyes. The plans identifies a range of actions the agency is considering under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a law enacted in 1976 to protect human health and the environment from potential risks from chemical exposures. 

The Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigments Manufacturers (ETAD) of North America, an affiliate of SOCMA, challenged EPA’s decision to single out benzidine dyes since the agency confirmed nearly 15 years ago that the substances are no longer in U.S. commerce. In the mid-1990s, ETAD worked closely with the agency to phase out benzidine dyes by way of a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under TSCA.

“In view of the absence of benzidine dyes from commerce except for small quantities used for special diagnostic purposes, it is not likely for there to be any significant human exposure to these substances in the U.S.,” explained Dr. C. Tucker Helmes, a senior director at SOCMA and executive director of ETAD North America. “In light of the circumstances, we question if it’s worth the expenditure of scarce government and industry resources to implement this plan.”

ETAD is an international technical organization that addresses the health, safety, and environmental aspects of the global colorants manufacturing industry. With headquarters in Switzerland, ETAD’s members include the leading manufacturers of colorants worldwide. ETAD’s North American operation represents the dye manufacturing industry in the U.S. and Canada.
SOCMA is the only U.S. based trade association dedicated solely to the batch, custom, and specialty chemical industry. Since 1921, it has represented a diverse membership of small, medium, and large chemical companies, making it the leading authority on this sector. SOCMA has a global membership of more than 200 companies. In the U.S., members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information, visit

Sign up for the Powder & Bulk Solids Weekly newsletter.

You May Also Like