Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)

Definition - What does Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) mean?

Toxic Substance Control Act, also known as TSCA, is a law which was passed by United States Congress in 1976 with the basic purpose of regulating the introduction of new or existing chemicals. The law came to force on 11 October 1976. TSCA does not separate chemicals into categories of toxic and non-toxic, rather it prohibits the manufacture or importation of chemicals that are not on the TSCA Inventory (or subject to one of many exemptions). The chemicals that are listed in the TSCA inventory are called Existing Chemicals and all those that are not listed are called New Chemicals.

Petropedia explains Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)

Various sections of the Toxic Substance Control Act provide authority to:

  • Require, under Section 5, pre-manufacture notification for new chemical substances before they are manufactured.
  • Require, under Section 4, testing of chemicals by manufacturers, importers, and processors where risks or exposures of concern are found.
  • Issue Significant New Use Rules (SNURs), under Section 5, when it identifies a "significant new use" that could result in exposures to, or releases of, a substance of concern.
  • Maintain the TSCA Inventory, under Section 8, which contains more than 83,000 chemicals. As new chemicals are commercially manufactured or imported, they are placed on the list.
  • Require those importing or exporting chemicals, under Sections 12(b) and 13, to comply with certification reporting and/or other requirements.
  • Require, under Section 8, reporting and recordkeeping by persons who manufacture, import, process, and/or distribute chemical substances in commerce.
  • Require, under Section 8(e), that any person who manufactures (including imports), processes, or distributes in commerce a chemical substance or mixture and who obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that such substance or mixture presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment to immediately inform EPA, except where EPA has been adequately informed of such information.
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