WASHINGTON—As part of an agreement reached two years ago, members of the Silicones Environmental, Health and Safety Center of the American Chemistry Council are collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess levels of the siloxane D4 in the environment.
The data generated in the environmental monitoring program, which was co-designed by the EPA and the SEHSC, will facilitate the agency's environmental risk assessment for D4, using actual environmental concentrations rather than computer models, the ACC said.
D4 is a colorless, odorless non-oily silicone fluid used as an intermediate to make silicone polymers, the ACC said. D4 has important applications in a number of industries, including construction, transportation, health care and electronics.
“Generating real-world data from multiple locations throughout the U.S. will help us better understand the fate and distribution of D4 in the environment, which is consistent with our industry's international environmental stewardship efforts,” said Karluss Thomas, senior director of the ACC's Chemical Products and Technology Division.
Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, Dow Corning Corp., Evonik Industries, Momentive and Wacker Silicones are the SEHSC members involved in the monitoring program, Thomas said.
The program requires the SEHSC to provide quarterly reports to the EPA, and all regulatory decisions based on the reports are at the agency's discretion, he said.
In April 2014, the SEHSC and the EPA reached an agreement to be partners in environmental testing and risk assessment for D4, the ACC said at the time.
The EPA had listed D4 as a possible carcinogen after finding trace amounts of it in drinking water. However, the ACC noted that various international government and industry bodies—including Health Canada, the European Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety and the U.S. Cosmetics Ingredient Review—had already conducted thorough scientific reviews of D4 and concluded it presents no risk to human health.
Monitoring programs are ongoing around the world, including Europe and Japan, for D4, D5 and D6, Thomas said.