WASHINGTON—The Silicones Environmental, Health and Safety Center of the American Chemistry Council has submitted a final report on its D4 environmental monitoring program to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
D4 is a colorless, odorless, non-oily silicone fluid used as an intermediate to make silicone polymers, according to the SEHSC. It has important applications in a number of industries, including construction, transportation, health care and electronics.
The final report provides the EPA with actual environmental concentrations measured in samples from 14 sites across the U.S. for the past two years, according to Karluss Thomas, senior director of the ACC's Chemical Products and Technology Division.
Although the monitoring was completed two months ago, the SEHSC is still undertaking a third-party evaluation of the data, Thomas said.
"There's no clear sense of timing for completion, but I expect it will be sometime in the first quarter of 2018," he said. "But our preliminary assessment supports our contention that no regulatory action is needed on D4."
The report is part of the April 2014 agreement between the SEHSC and the EPA to be partners in an environmental testing and risk assessment for D4.
The SEHSC worked directly with the EPA to design and wholly fund the D4 environmental monitoring program, according to Thomas. The agency will use the SEHSC data to prepare its own risk assessment program for D4, he said.
The EPA has not told the SEHSC about the timing for its risk assessment program, according to Thomas. But the organization stands ready to provide additional technical work to the agency as it continues its work, he said.
"In its evaluation of D4, the silicones industry encourages EPA to take a risk-based approach using the best available science, including the real-world exposure data from the D4 monitoring program," Thomas said.
Canada has already conducted a risk assessment of D4 and found no need for regulating the substance, according to Thomas. But it does require a pollution prevention plan for manufacturing facilities that use D4, he said.