Summary of the Toxic Substances Control Act, Laws — Regulations, US EPA

US EPA

Laws & Regulations

Summary of the Toxic Substances Control Act

2016 Chemical Law Updates the TSCA

15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq. (1976)

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 provides EPA with authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and restrictions relating to chemical substances and/or mixtures. Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including, among others, food, drugs, cosmetics and pesticides.

Quick Links

  • The official text of TSCA as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act of the 21st Century is available in the United States Code, from the U.S. Government Printing Office

TSCA addresses the production, importation, use, and disposal of specific chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, radon and lead-based paint.

Various sections of TSCA provide authority to:

  • Require, under Section 5, pre-manufacture notification for «new chemical substances» before manufacture
  • 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 record-keeping 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. EPA screens all TSCA b§8(e) submissions as well as voluntary «For Your Information» (FYI) submissions. The latter are not required by law, but are submitted by industry and public interest groups for a variety of reasons.

Compliance and Enforcement

  • Toxic Substances Control Act Compliance Monitoring: inspections and investigations
  • Waste, Chemical and Cleanup Enforcement

History of this Act

More Information

The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) manages programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Pollution Prevention Act. Under these laws, EPA evaluates new and existing chemicals and their risks, and finds ways to prevent or reduce pollution before it gets into the environment.

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

www.epa.gov

US EPA

Development of DDT

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations. It also was effective for insect control in crop and livestock production, institutions, homes, and gardens. DDT’s quick success as a pesticide and broad use in the United States and other countries led to the development of resistance by many insect pest species.

Regulation Due to Health and Environmental Effects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal agency with responsibility for regulating pesticides before the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, began regulatory actions in the late 1950s and 1960s to prohibit many of DDT’s uses because of mounting evidence of the pesticide’s declining benefits and environmental and toxicological effects. The publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring stimulated widespread public concern over the dangers of improper pesticide use and the need for better pesticide controls.

In 1972, EPA issued a cancellation order for DDT based on its adverse environmental effects, such as those to wildlife, as well as its potential human health risks. Since then, studies have continued, and a relationship between DDT exposure and reproductive effects in humans is suspected, based on studies in animals. In addition, some animals exposed to DDT in studies developed liver tumors. As a result, today, DDT is classified as a probable human carcinogen by U.S. and international authorities.

  • known to be very persistent in the environment,
  • will accumulate in fatty tissues, and
  • can travel long distances in the upper atmosphere.

After the use of DDT was discontinued in the United States, its concentration in the environment and animals has decreased, but because of its persistence, residues of concern from historical use still remain.

Current Status

Since 1996, EPA has been participating in international negotiations to control the use of DDT and other persistent organic pollutants used around the world. Under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, countries joined together and negotiated a treaty to enact global bans or restrictions on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), a group that includes DDT. This treaty is known as the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The Convention includes a limited exemption for the use of DDT to control mosquitoes that transmit the microbe that causes malaria — a disease that still kills millions of people worldwide.

In September 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared its support for the indoor use of DDT in African countries where malaria remains a major health problem, citing that benefits of the pesticide outweigh the health and environmental risks. The WHO position is consistent with the Stockholm Convention on POPs, which bans DDT for all uses except for malaria control.

DDT is one of 12 pesticides recommended by the WHO for indoor residual spray programs. It is up to individual countries to decide whether or not to use DDT. EPA works with other agencies and countries to advise them on how DDT programs are developed and monitored, with the goal that DDT be used only within the context of programs referred to as Integrated Vector Management. Exit IVM is a decison-making process for use of resources to yield the best possible results in vector control, and that it be kept out of agricultural sectors.

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Additional information on DDT:

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

www.epa.gov

CATNIP

Cataire, Catmint, Catnep, Catswort, Chataire, Field Balm, Herbe Г Chat, Herbe aux Chats, Hierba Gatera, Menta de Gato, Menthe des Chats, Nepeta cataria.

Overview Information

Catnip is a plant. The flowering tops are used to make medicine.

Catnip is used by mouth, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled for many different conditions. But there is no good scientific research to support any of these uses.

In manufacturing, catnip is used as a pesticide and insecticide.

How does it work?

It’s thought that the chemicals in catnip have a calming effect. Also, the oils in catnip have insect repellant effects.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Mosquito repellent. Early research shows that applying catnip oil to the skin can help repel yellow fevermosquitos. However, insect repellants with the chemicals SS220 or DEET seem to work better.
  • Anxiety.
  • Arthritis.
  • Common cold.
  • Fever.
  • Flu (influenza).
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Hives (urticaria).
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • Infection of the intestines by parasites.
  • Insomnia.
  • Migraine.
  • Starting menstruation in girls.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of catnip for these uses.

Side Effects & Safety

Catnip is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in small amounts. Cupful amounts of catnip tea have been consumed without serious side effects. However, catnip is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when smoked or taken by mouth in high doses (many cups of catnip tea, for example).

It can cause headaches, vomiting, and a feeling of being ill.

Not enough is known about the safety of applying catnip directly to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Catnip is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for children when taken by mouth. There has been one report of a child experiencing stomach pain, irritability, and sluggishness after taking catnip leaves and tea.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to use take catnip during pregnancy. There is some evidence that catnip can stimulate the uterus. This might cause a miscarriage.

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking catnip if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid use.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): Women with PID should avoid using catnip because it can start menstruation.

Heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia): Because catnip can cause menstruation, it might make heavy menstrual periods worse.

Surgery: Catnip seems to be able to slow down the central nervous system (CNS), causing sleepiness and other effects. Anesthesia and some other drugs used during and after surgery also slow down the CNS. There is a concern that using catnip along with these drugs might slow down the CNS too much. Stop using catnip at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions ?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

Lithium interacts with CATNIP

Catnip might have an effect like a water pill or «diuretic.» Taking catnip might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with CATNIP

Catnip might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking catnip along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of catnip depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for catnip. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

www.webmd.com

Open Access Journals

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Open Access Journals

Open Access Initiative is committed to make genuine and reliable contributions to the scientific community without restricting the access of published content. This publisher hosts over 700+ leading-edge peer reviewed Open Access Journals and organizes over 3000 International Conferences all over the world. Obtained enormous global visibility and tremendous response from the authors and readers from all over the world inspired the publisher to maintain reputed Open Access Journals in various scientific disciplines. The journals have over 15 million readers and the reputation and success earned can be attributed to the strong Editorial Board which contains over 50,000 eminent personalities that ensure a rapid, qualitative and quick review process. More than 1000 International Societies are supporting in making scientific information Open Access. International Conferences are rendering perfect platform for global networking for the renowned speakers and scientists across the globe through a most exciting and memorable scientific event filled with much enlightening interactive sessions, world class exhibitions and poster presentations.

Open Access journals are the major source of knowledge for young and aspiring generations who are keen in pursuing a career in sciences. This system provides easy access to networks of scientific journals. Authors that contribute their scholarly works to Open Access journals gain remarkable reputation as the research scholarly explore these works extensively. This process assures considerable impact factor for the journal and reputation to the authors that add value to their Academic Performance Index (API) Score. Because of the free access open access journals impact factors are improving.

Open access journal articles are essentially peer-reviewed and available for access through the directory of Open Access journals. The open access movement gained popularity after the Budapest meeting of the Open Society Institute in 2001. Under this provision, pre-prints that are yet to be reviewed can be posted online. This enables the fellow researchers of the latest updates and findings. This is provision also meant to transmit and link to the subsequent publications in the same domain.

The digital peer reviewed journals cover the novel and current scientific studies taking place across universities and research centers in various parts of the world. This leads to limitless and hassle-free dissemination of knowledge, as per the provisions of Bethesda Statement, which implies that, the transmission of digital content should be circulated among subscribers and readers without copyright restrictions. Each open access journal delivers the latest updates in the respected research area in various formats so that subscribers can access the same through various options.

With the growing number of scientific enthusiasts and readers by a large margin, the efficacy of open access publishing has witnessed an assertive impact. The importance of Peer-reviewed open access journals has also grown in modern learning environment as most of the students need a swift and instant access to published research work free of cost. Most of the open access journal articles can be cited with proper reference, which boosts the prospects of research. A quality tracking system handles the articles submitted by various authors based on quality-checking for originality and consistency for subsequent approval.

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As there is a very vast scope for the research in the field of pure and Medical Sciences, various free publications are categorized into open access medical journals and open access clinical journals.

In current scenario, involving scientific research in diversified disciplines, it is necessary to publish several forms of case reports and scholarly papers. As a result, the importance of open access journals is growing significantly.

www.omicsonline.org

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Learn more about why you may not need antibiotics when you’re sick and the problems antibiotics can cause if taken unnecessarily.

Antibiotics are drugs used for treating infections caused by bacteria. Also known as antimicrobial drugs, antibiotics have saved countless lives.

Misuse and overuse of these drugs, however, have contributed to a phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance. This resistance develops when potentially harmful bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics.

A Public Health Issue

Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health concern worldwide. When a person is infected with an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, not only is treatment of that patient more difficult, but the antibiotic-resistant bacterium may spread to other people.

When antibiotics don’t work, the result can be

  • longer illnesses
  • more complicated illnesses
  • more doctor visits
  • the use of stronger and more expensive drugs
  • more deaths caused by bacterial infections

Examples of the types of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics include those that cause skin infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases and respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia.

In cooperation with other government agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched several initiatives to address antibiotic resistance.

The agency has issued drug labeling regulations, emphasizing the prudent use of antibiotics. The regulations encourage health care professionals to prescribe antibiotics only when clinically necessary, and to counsel patients about the proper use of such drugs and the importance of taking them as directed. FDA has also encouraged the development of new drugs, vaccines, and improved diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.

Antibiotics Fight Bacteria, Not Viruses

Antibiotics are meant to be used against bacterial infections. For example, they are used to treat strep throat, which is caused by streptococcal bacteria, and skin infections caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

Although antibiotics kill bacteria, they are not effective against viruses. Therefore, they will not be effective against viral infections such as colds, most coughs, many types of sore throat, and influenza (flu).

Using antibiotics against viral infections

  • will not cure the infection
  • will not keep other individuals from catching the virus
  • will not help a person feel better
  • may cause unnecessary, harmful side effects
  • may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Patients and health care professionals alike can play an important role in combating antibiotic resistance. Patients should not demand antibiotics when a health care professional says the drugs are not needed. Health care professionals should prescribe antibiotics only for infections they believe to be caused by bacteria.

As a patient, your best approach is to ask your health care professional whether an antibiotic is likely to be effective for your condition. Also, ask what else you can do to relieve your symptoms.

So how do you know if you have a bad cold or a bacterial infection?

Joseph Toerner, M.D., MPH, a medical officer in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says that the symptoms of a cold or flu generally lessen over the course of a week. But if you have a fever and other symptoms that persist and worsen with the passage of days, you may have a bacterial infection and should consult your health care provider.

Follow Directions for Proper Use

When you are prescribed an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection, it’s important to take the medication exactly as directed. Here are more tips to promote proper use of antibiotics.

  • Take the antibiotics as prescribed. It’s important to take the medication as prescribed by your doctor, even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, and you become sick again, the remaining bacteria may become resistant to the antibiotic that you’ve taken.
  • Do not skip doses. Antibiotics are most effective when they are taken as prescribed.
  • Do not save antibiotics. You might think that you can save an antibiotic for the next time you get sick, but an antibiotic is meant for your particular infection at the time. Never take leftover medicine. Taking the wrong medicine can delay getting the appropriate treatment and may allow your condition to worsen.
  • Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. These may not be appropriate for your illness, may delay correct treatment, and may allow your condition to worsen.
  • Talk with your health care professional. Ask questions, especially if you are uncertain about when an antibiotic is appropriate or how to take it.
  • All drugs have side effects. Let your health care professional know if you have new or unusual symptoms or side effects. You might need to stop the antibiotic causing a troublesome side effect and complete treatment with a different antibiotic.

Consumers and health care professionals can also report adverse events to FDA’s MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088 or online at MedWatch.

What FDA Is Doing

FDA combating antibiotic resistance through activities that include

  • Approval of certain new antibiotics. Since 2015, FDA approved new antibiotics that can treat certain resistant bacteria. Health care professional are encouraged to use the new antibiotics appropriately and for some antibiotics, use only in patients who have limited or no other treatment options.
  • Labeling regulations addressing proper use of antibiotics. Antibiotic labeling contains required statements in several places advising health care professionals that these drugs should be used only to treat infections that are believed to be caused by bacteria. Labeling also encourages health care professionals to counsel patients about proper use.
  • Partnering to promote public awareness. FDA is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on «Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work,» a campaign that offers Web pages, brochures, fact sheets, and other information sources aimed at helping the public learn about preventing antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Encouraging the development of new antibiotics. FDA developed guidances for industry on the types of clinical studies that could be performed to evaluate how an antibacterial drug works for the treatment of different types of infections. FDA organized and participated in workshops aimed to address the development of new antibiotics that treat resistant bacterial infections.
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www.fda.gov

6 Reasons to Avoid Using “Weed ‘n Feed” on Your Lawn

“Weed ‘n feed” is a combination herbicide and fertilizer product which is designed to kill weeds and fertilize the grass in a single application. Marketed under many different brand names, these chemically-based herbicides are some of the most toxic substances which are still legal to buy.

Each year Americans apply an estimated 27 million pounds of weed ‘n feed to parks, cemeteries, home lawns and anywhere else mown grass is found. A mix of three “phenoxy herbicides” called 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop typically blended together into weed killers and weed ‘n feed products, they kill broadleaf plants such as dandelions while sparing grass.

The lure of convenience, and effective marketing, have made weed ‘n feed among the most frequently used lawn care products. Short-term effectiveness is gained at the expense of long-term lawn and soil health. The overpowered chemical fertilizers these products contain actually weaken turf—causing the kind of fast, weak, unnatural growth that’s susceptible to pests and disease.

Giving up the weed ‘n feed does not mean you’ll have to live with a weed strewn lawn. Organic lawn care practices, combined with nontoxic pre-emergent herbicides, will restore your weed patch to a healthy lawn, over time.

Here are six reasons to avoid using synthetic weed ‘n feed products on your lawn.

1. Uneven, excessive application of herbicides.

Granular “weed and feed” products are applied to the entire lawn, not merely to areas of weeds, which results in herbicides being applied where they are not needed. The mixture of fertilizer and herbicide is incompatible because one ingredient should be applied to the entire lawn, and one is intended for problem spots. In most lawns, broadleaf weeds like dandelions usually occupy less than five or 10 per cent of the area.

Gary Fish, an environmental specialist at the Maine Board of Pesticide Control, who used to work with Chemlawn before it merged with Tru Green, believes the combined weed ‘n feed products, whether for pre-emergent fertilizer or for weeds, are unnecessary and harmful to the environment. Fish said weed ‘n feed products use 20 to 30 times more pesticide than is needed.

When we give lawns more food than they need, the excess fertilizers end up in the water because plants simply can’t absorb as much as we think they want.

2. Granular «weed ‘n feed» chemicals harm the environment.

Quick-release fertilizers, commonly used in most weed ‘n feed products, apply a quick and heavy dose of nutrients to the lawn, and are more likely to wash off when watered or after it rains. Even if you don’t live near the water, pesticides from your yard could travel through storm drains untreated to the nearest stream or lake, or seep into the water table. Nitrogen and other plant nutrients create algae blooms that smother aquatic life forms in streams, ponds, rivers and even the ocean. In addition, a main ingredient in “weed and feed,” 2,4-D or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, has recently been cited as a contributor to contaminating salmon habitat.

Birds eat weed ‘n feed granules as grit. Studies have linked weed-and-feed and crane fly pesticides to massive bird deaths, and this has caused the removal of some of the most toxic ingredients from the market.

3. Weed ‘n feed chemicals are easily tracked indoors.

Granular weed ‘n feed products cling to shoes and children’s clothing if they have playing on the lawn, and are easily carried indoors where they persist in the home environment. Dust is carried by the wind to neighbor’s yards, where the particles can also tracked indoors. Studies show that children and pets who play on toxically treated lawns absorb pesticide residues into their bodies. In recent governmental studies, researchers found that all study participants had residual toxins in their blood, including pesticides. Children in similar studies show pesticide residue markers in their urine.

4. There are health risks associated with synthetic herbicides.

The weedkillers (phenoxy herbicides) used in weed ‘n feed products are persistent, bioaccumulative toxic substances linked to cancers and to reproductive, immunological and neurological problems. Some of the herbicides in chemical weed ‘n feeds—especially 2, 4-D—have been linked to increased rates of cancer in people and dogs.

5. Long-term lawn health is compromised.

Once you begin a program of using synthetic fertilizers, your lawn becomes dependent on these chemicals to ensure a healthy weed-free look year after year. However, over-fertilizing with synthetic chemicals disinfects or kills most of the beneficial fungi and organisms in soil. This makes it more difficult to build naturally healthy turf which contains beneficial organisms.

6. There are safer, more effective alternatives.

The good news is that you can have a beautiful, healthy lawn without using blanket applications of synthetic lawn care chemicals. Building a healthy, organic lawn is the best way to choke out weeds. Lawns that are maintained properly through regular care (i.e. feeding, aeration, watering, and mowing), should only need ‘spot treating’ of limited problem areas. To learn about organic lawn care methods, see our page on Natural Lawn Care.

Consumers should also realize that weed ‘n feed products may kill existing weeds, but do not prevent new weeds from growing. You can prevent new weeds from germinating by applying a pre-emergent herbicide during that first warm spell in spring and in the early fall. One of the best pre-emergents is corn gluten meal, a completely natural substance that also provides the benefits of fertilizing. Corn gluten meal is an organic alternative to weed ‘n feed.

Another effective method of controlling dandelions is pulling them manually. This may seem to be too difficult, but newly designed dandelion forks, which have a curved plate welded to the shaft, are very easy to use for pulling even the most stubborn dandelions. If your lawn is modest in size, a small investment in a dandelion fork will yield good results.

For the health of our families, neighbors and our environment, herbicides use should be a measure of last resort.

About the Author

Greg Seaman
Originally from Long Island, NY, Greg Seaman founded Eartheasy in 2000 out of concern for the environment and a desire to help others live more sustainably. As Editor, Greg combines his upbringing in the cities of New York, Boston and San Francisco with the contrast of 31 years of living ‘off-grid’ to give us a balanced perspective on sustainable living. Greg spends his free time gardening, working on his home and building a wooden sailboat with hand tools.

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