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Tag Archives: Multi-Walled

EPA Releases SNURS Affecting Multi-Walled and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

In the Federal Register for Friday 09/17/2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acting under the authority granted to it under section 5(a)(2) of the TSCA, issued as a final rule Significant New Use Rules (SNURS) affecting two chemical substances identified as generic multi-walled and single-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs and SWCNTs respectively). These SNURs are applicable to manufacturers, importers, and processors, who will be required to notify EPA at least 90 days in advance if they intend to use these substances "for a use that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule. . . . EPA believes that this action is necessary because these chemical substances may be hazardous to human health and the environment".

This final rule is the culmination of a process that has taken over a year. EPA had issued a direct final rule in the Federal Register issue of 06/24/2009. This direct final rule affected several chemical substances, including the MWCNTs and the SWCNTs, that had been the subject of various consent decrees issued by EPA. The language of the final rule affecting the MWCNTs read as follows:

Sec.  721.10155  Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as multi- walled carbon nanotubes (PMN P-08-177) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.     (2) The significant new uses are:     (i) Protection in the workplace. Requirements as specified in Sec.  …

EPA Consent Order for Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Last month we reported on a press release by Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. of the United Kingdom indicating the company had recently entered into a PMN consent order with the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) concerning one of its multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) products. Barring an unusual coincidence, it appears that EPA has recently published a redacted version of the Swan Consent order here.

The order makes it clear that the PMN was submitted pursuant to § 5(a)(1) of TSCA, and that it covers a MWCNT product. Additionally, the consent order places several requirements on the manufacturer. Specifically, the manufacturer is required to:

  1. Deliver 1 gram of the MWCNTs to EPA with a copy of MSDS for the product;
  2. Conduct “90 day inhalation toxicity study in rats with a post exposure; observation period of up to 3 months, including bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (“BALF”) analysis (OPPTS 870.3465 or OECD 413);
  3. Submit material characterization data within six months (see below);
  4. Ensure employees “use gloves impervious to nanoscale particles and chemical protective clothing;” and
  5. Ensure employees “use a NIOSH-approved full-face respirator with an N-100 cartridge while exposed by inhalation in the work area.”

Regarding the second requirement, the consent order also provides the manufacturer with an opportunity to submit toxicity testing data under the Agency’s new Nanoscale Material Stewardship Program as an alternative to the 90 day mouse inhalation test: “If, for example, a consortium of companies commit to testing a representative set of MWCNT for subchronic mammalian toxicity, …

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