Bulletin Board August 20, 2010 Contact us



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Bulletin Board

August 20, 2010


Contact us:

subscribers@chemwatch.net

tel +61 3 9572 4700

fax +61 3 9572 4777

1227 Glen Huntly Rd Glen Huntly

Victoria 3163 Australia


*While Chemwatch has taken all efforts to ensure the accuracy of information in this publication, it is not intended to be comprehensive or to render advice. Websites rendered are subject to change.
Hazard

Titanium Tetrachloride

2010-08-03


Titanium tetrachloride is a colourless to pale yellow liquid that has fumes with a strong odour. If it comes in contact with water, it rapidly forms hydrochloric acid, as well as titanium compounds.

Titanium tetrachloride is not found naturally in the environment and is made from minerals that contain titanium. It is used to make titanium metal and other titanium-containing compounds, such as titanium dioxide, which is used as a white pigment in paints and other products and to produce other chemicals. [1]


Environment Effects

Titanium tetrachloride enters the environment primarily in the air from factories that make or use it in various chemical processes, or as a result of spills.

If moisture is in the air, titanium tetrachloride reacts rapidly with it to form hydrochloric acid and other titanium compounds, such as titanium hydroxide and titanium oxychlorides.

Some of the titanium compounds may settle out to soil or water. In water, they sink into the bottom sediments.

The titanium compounds may remain for a long time in the soil or sediments.

Some other titanium compounds, such as titanium dioxide, are also found in air and water.[1]


Exposure to Titanium Tetrachloride

You are not likely to be exposed to titanium tetrachloride in water, soil, food, or air.

Because titanium tetrachloride breaks down rapidly in air, you probably would not be exposed to it unless you worked in an industry that made or used it.

If you work in an industry that uses titanium tetrachloride, you could be exposed by breathing it or touching it.

If titanium tetrachloride spills, you could get it on your skin.[1]
Acute Health Effects

Titanium tetrachloride is highly irritating to the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract in humans. Acute exposure may result in surface skin burns, marked congestion of mucous membranes of the pharynx, vocal cords, and trachea, and stenosis (constriction) of the larynx, trachea, and upper bronchi in humans. Acute exposure may also damage the cornea.

A worker accidentally exposed to a high concentration of titanium tetrachloride via inhalation later developed endobronchial polyps.

Eye injury, including corneal opacity, necrotic keratitis, and conjunctivitis, occurred in rats acutely exposed to titanium tetrachloride vapours.

Acute animal tests in rats and mice have demonstrated titanium tetrachloride to have high to extreme acute toxicity via inhalation. [2]
Chronic Health Effects

Pleural thickening and decreased pulmonary function have been associated with chronic occupational exposure of titanium tetrachloride in titanium metal production workers.

Chronic inhalation exposure may result in upper respiratory tract irritation, chronic bronchitis, cough, bronchoconstriction, wheezing, chemical pneumonitis, or pulmonary oedema in humans.

Respiratory effects have also been observed in animals chronically exposed to titanium tetrachloride via inhalation.

EPA has not established a Reference Concentration (RfC) or a Reference Dose (RfD) for titanium tetrachloride.

ATSDR has calculated a chronic inhalation minimal risk level (MRL) of 0.0001 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) based on respiratory effects in rats. The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse noncancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. Exposure to a level above the MRL does not mean that adverse health effects will occur. The MRL is intended to serve as a screening tool. [2]


Cancer Risk

The (USA) Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the (USA) EPA have not classified titanium tetrachloride for carcinogenicity. Some laboratory animals that breathed titanium tetrachloride fumes for 2 years developed lung tumours of a special type. However, there is no evidence that long-term exposure to titanium tetrachloride causes cancer in people. [1]


Personal Protection
Engineering measures

Ensure adequate ventilation, especially in confined areas.

Respiratory protection

Suitable respiratory equipment: When workers are facing concentrations above the exposure limit they must use appropriate certified respirators


Hand protection

Impervious gloves, Request information on glove permeation properties from the glove supplier. Gloves must be inspected prior to use.


Eye protection

Tightly fitting safety goggles Face-shield


Skin and body protection

Chemical resistant apron Boots


Hygiene measures

Avoid contact with skin, eyes and clothing. Wash hands before breaks and at the end of workday. Do not breathe fumes. [3]


References

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1997. Toxicological Profile for titanium tetrachloride. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

US EPA, Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web Site, Titanium tetrachloride (2000) retrieved from

http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/titanium.html on 2010-08-03Du Pont (2006) Titanium Tetrachloride MSDS retrieved from http://msds.dupont.com/msds/pdfs/EN/PEN_09004a2f80691470.pdf on 2010-08-03
Legislation

ASIA PACIFIC

Green diet push angers experts

2010-07-30



Australia’s top health standards body has been accused of subverting food science to fit a green agenda. It did this by suggesting caps on meat and fish intake on environmental grounds -- even though pregnant women risk nutritional deficiencies as a result. The National Health and Medical Research Council, in redrawing Australia’s official dietary guidelines, have triggered a storm of protest from expert bodies, which warn that no good evidence has been provided to back its approach. According to two of Australia’s top health science organisations, the CSIRO and the National Heart Foundation, there is insufficient evidence for limiting red meat intake to 455g a week, or fish to just one weekly serving. The protests were triggered by the NHMRC’s draft report on its new “Food Modelling System”, which was circulated for comment earlier this year. The report was an attempt to translate previous recommended dietary intakes of various micronutrients and food groups into suggested healthy eating patterns that the general public could readily understand. However, the CSIRO have noted in a submission responding to the draft, sent to the NHMRC in May, that the “term ‘environmentally sustainable’ appears... throughout the document as an argument for some of the limitations on some foods, notably meat, fish and dairy”. “It is unclear from this document as to how such conclusions were derived and... why nutritional desirability for optimal health has been compromised as a consequence,” the CSIRO said. “This is a particular area of concern regarding recommendations to limit fish consumption to below the recommendations by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the Heart Foundation and other health bodies.” In its submission, the Heart Foundation said the once-a-week suggestion for fish was “incorrect” and called for this to be increased to at least two serves per week to ensure adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to cut the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The foundation said “specific reference is made to red meat and fish and seafood in relation to environmental concerns” in the NHMRC’s draft document, but questioned the “rationale” for the caps -- and warned that meeting nutritional needs should be given primary importance. The NHMRC’s document itself admits the environmentally-driven limits “challenged the ability to attain some RDIs (recommended dietary intakes) within the energy constraints of the foundation diets”. This meant pregnant women, women aged 19 to 50, and children aged from 2 to 8 following the diet might not get enough iron, the NHMRC document said.
Breastfeeding women might end up deficient in iodine -- which could cause their babies to develop brain damage -- and men aged 50 and above could become deficient in magnesium and zinc. Manny Noakes, senior research scientist at the CSIRO’s Food and Nutritional Sciences division, said good nutrition -- not environmental concerns -- should be the top consideration in the modelling work. “It seems, from the information that was provided, that the environmental issues have predominated, to the potential detriment of optimal nutritional recommendations,” Associate Professor Noakes said. “This is really the first time this (inclusion of environmental factors) has occurred, and one would want to make certain... it is based on good evidence and good science.” In addition, the food industry has gotten involved, with the Australian Food and Grocery Council claiming the NHMRC had “lost the plot”. Council chief executive Kate Carnell said the NHMRC’s job “is to come up with what science says constitutes a well-balanced, healthy diet -- what they have done is strayed into an area that they aren’t expert in”. The NHMRC has gone into back pedal mode in response to the attacks on the report, claiming the document has been misunderstood but also admitting some parts of it exhibited “sloppy wording” -- and that elements such as the once-a-week limit on fish had already been dropped. In a statement, the agency said the draft document was “not a guideline and does not provide any recommendations”, and was just one of several components that would inform the dietary guidelines. While it admitted a goal of the modelling exercise was to consider eating patterns that were “culturally acceptable, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable”, it denied the science had been downgraded. “The NHMRC is confident that the draft... is based on the best scientific evidence available on health and nutrition,” it said. “In developing this document, the NHMRC had a responsibility to ensure that the outcomes of the modelling were realistic and achievable.”

The Australian, 21 July 2010 http://www.theaustralian.com.au


Waste Reduction Fund

2010-07-30

EPA Victoria’s Waste Reduction Fund will assist industry to implement waste avoidance and efficiency initiatives in their businesses to reduce the waste they generate and send to landfill. The consultation period for the new $14 million Victorian Government fund targeted at waste minimisation in the commercial, industrial, construction and demolition industries was opened by Minister Jennings on 21 July 2010. There will be six broad topics for consultation that examine the financial impact of the landfill levy, interest from industry in waste avoidance, existing initiatives, level and type of support available to industry, models of funding and communicating to industry. For the first two weeks of August, interested parties will be invited to take part in round table discussions co-hosted by EPA and key stakeholders. Industry will have until the end of August to provide feedback to EPA and key stakeholders. Following this, EPA will incorporate this feedback into the planning and designing of the preferred funding model and undertake further consultation if necessary. The Fund will commence in October.

EPA Victoria, 26 July 2010 http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/


Submissions sought on reassessment of trichlorfon

2010-07-23

New Zealand’s Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is seeking comments on the future use of the insecticide and veterinary medicine trichlorfon in New Zealand. The reassessment is part of an ERMA New Zealand Chief Executive-initiated programme to review hazardous substances. Trichlorfon is a broad-spectrum organophosphate insecticide used to control a range of insects in a variety of horticultural and agricultural crops. In addition, it is used as a veterinary medicine. Trichlorfon-containing formulations have been withdrawn in Europe, and their use is restricted in the United States and Canada. Australia has yet to review the substance. ERMA New Zealand staff has compiled detailed information on the risks, costs and benefits associated with use of trichlorfon in New Zealand in a reassessment application document. Initial responses from importers, manufacturers and some users of trichlorfon have indicated they would support its continued use only as a veterinary medicine. Members of the public and interested parties are now invited to make submissions. ERMA New Zealand’s General Manager for Hazardous Substances, Andrea Eng, says trichlorfon has the potential to cause harm to humans at low concentrations. Furthermore, trichlorfon is very ecotoxic in the aquatic environment. The staff’s preliminary recommendation is to revoke the approvals for trichlorfon for use on plants and crops, but to allow its continued use as a veterinary medicine in some situations, providing strict controls are adhered to. Ms Eng says this recommendation should not be considered to be the final outcome of the reassessment. “Information about the use of these chemicals, and their risks and benefits, will also come from submissions, which form an important part of the reassessment process,’’ Ms Eng says. A decision will be made by a committee of the Environmental Risk Management Authority once all the scientific information and submissions from the public has been evaluated and considered. All submissions must be lodged by 1 September 2010.

For a copy of the full reassessment go to: http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/resources/publications/pdfs/HRC08005_Application_Form.pdf

ERMA, 21 July 2010 http://www.ermanz.govt.nz
AMERICA

Rush and Waxman Release Toxic Chemicals Safety Act

2010-07-30

On 22 July, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush, chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Representative Henry A. Waxman, chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010. According to Rush, whose subcommittee has jurisdiction over TSCA enforcement, “The introduction of this legislation marks a major step forward in our efforts to bring to current industry standards an important statute that, once it becomes law, will permanently shine the bright light of public disclosure on a range of chemicals that consumers encounter in a diverse array of products they use each and every day.” “I appreciate the tremendous work, testimony, analysis and public comments that a variety of stakeholders and consumer groups have shared as we’ve worked to craft a piece of legislation that both protects consumers while respecting the right of private industry to innovate while protecting businesses’ confidentiality, trade secrets and intellectual property rights,” Rush added. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on this legislation on 29 July. Waxman explained the process: “Over the past few months, at the request of affected industries, Chairman Rush and I led a robust stakeholder process that involved a serious and candid exchange of views on TSCA reform. This process was extremely valuable and productive. Under this legislation, all chemicals will be reviewed for safety, dangerous chemicals will be restricted or eliminated, and new, safer chemicals will be developed more rapidly to move our economy toward a sustainable future.” Under the proposed Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010, amendments would be made to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 ensuring that the public and the environment are protected from risks resulting from chemical exposure. The proposed bill:

Establishes a framework to ensure that all chemical substances to which the American people are exposed will be reviewed for safety and restricted where necessary to protect public health and the environment.

Requires the chemical industry to develop and provide to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency essential data, and improves EPA’s authority to compel testing where necessary.

Ensures that non-confidential information submitted to EPA is shared with the public and that critical confidential information is shared among regulators, with states, and with workers in the chemical industry.

Creates incentives and a review process for safer alternatives to existing chemicals as well as a workforce education and training program in green chemistry.

Promotes research to advance understanding of children’s vulnerability to the harms of chemicals.

Encourages the reduction of the use of animals in chemical testing.

For EPA, the bill establishes an expedited process to reduce exposure to persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substances, allows exemptions for chemicals that are already known to be safe, and directs the agency to address exposures in “hot spot” locations and to engage in international efforts to control dangerous chemicals. Under the proposed bill, the actions of the EPA will be transparent, open to public comment, and subject to judicial review, without unreasonable procedural burdens.

Environmental Protection News, 23 July 2010 http://www.eponline.com
Bill Calls for Stricter Rules on Cosmetics

2010-07-30



U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., recently introduced legislation that would toughen safety standards for cosmetics, including requiring regular government testing of products for hazardous ingredients. The call for testing of cosmetics — from shampoo to lipstick to deodorant — was sparked by an investigation undertaken by the Tribune newspaper back in May, which revealed some skin-lightening creams contained extremely high amounts of mercury, a toxic metal banned in those products. “Consumers can’t assume even when an ingredient has been banned that it’s not in a product,” Schakowsky said. “That’s a really, really important finding.” According to the Food and Drug Administration, it currently tests high-risk products but acknowledged that officials had not tested skin creams for mercury in years. The metal is sometimes illegally added to creams because it blocks melanin that gives skin pigmentation. The products are used to lighten complexions and diminish freckles or age spots. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is working on a similar bill in the Senate. Under the proposed legislation, the FDA would be required to decide which ingredients can be used in cosmetics and personal care products. Currently, companies decide which ingredients are safe for their products, with a few exceptions. Consumer advocates say it isn’t smart to allow an industry to police itself. But the cosmetic industry’s own trade group recently announced that it, too, is interested in having a formal process for the FDA to review the safety of ingredients. The Personal Care Products Council said it was responding to American consumers who want more transparency. In addition, Schakowsky’s bill calls for stricter labelling requirements and gives the FDA the ability to order recalls of dangerous products. Currently, the agency can only request a product recall. Schakowsky said she has been especially bothered that loopholes in the law permit companies to avoid disclosing all ingredients in their products; for example, they can withhold information on specific ingredients in fragrances. Lisa Archer, national coordinator for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said more than 12,500 chemicals are found in personal care products, but the average consumer has no way of knowing which are safe.
Archer said the organisation, which is made up of groups concerned about chemicals in cosmetics, did its own testing and found carcinogens, including formaldehyde, in children’s bath products and hormone disruptors in fragrances. She said the majority of regulations for cosmetics were enacted more than 70 years ago. “There is obvious agreement that this industry needs more regulation,” she said. Schakowsky’s office did not provide a cost estimate for the additional regulations but said costs would be mostly financed with fees paid by manufacturers. Only manufacturers with more than $1 million in sales would have to pay, and fees would vary by company size. The FDA said it examines both imported and domestic products, closely scrutinises product labels and monitors the marketplace for ingredients, such as phthalates, lead and asbestos. In its investigation, the Tribune sent 50 creams to a certified lab for testing. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law. In total, five had more than 6,000 parts per million of mercury — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to a medical expert. Mercury is rapidly absorbed through the skin and can cause severe health problems, including neurological and kidney damage. After the testing, the FDA launched an investigation into the problem and subsequently widened its probe when elevated mercury levels were found in more than a dozen people using skin lighteners in California and Virginia. The results of the FDA inquiry are pending. Furthermore, the Tribune story led several retailers and distributors to stop selling the tainted products.

LA Times, 22 July 2010 http://www.latimes.com


EPA Releases Rulemaking Guidance on Environmental Justice

2010-07-30

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an interim guidance document to assist agency staff incorporate environmental justice into the agency’s rulemaking process. The rulemaking guidance is an important and positive step toward meeting EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priority to work for environmental justice and protect the health and safety of communities who have been disproportionately impacted by pollution. “Historically, the low-income and minority communities that carry the greatest environmental burdens haven’t had a voice in our policy development or rulemaking. We want to expand the conversation to the places where EPA’s work can make a real difference for health and the economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This plan is part of my ongoing commitment to give all communities a seat at the decision-making table. Making environmental justice a consideration in our rulemaking changes both the perception and practice of how we work with overburdened communities, and opens this conversation up to new voices.” The new document, Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action, aims to advance environmental justice for low-income, minority and indigenous communities and tribal governments who have been historically underrepresented in the regulatory decision-making process. In addition, it outlines the multiple steps that every EPA program office can take to incorporate the needs of overburdened neighbourhoods into the agency’s decision-making, scientific analysis, and rule development. EPA staff is encouraged to become familiar with environmental justice concepts and the many ways they should inform agency decision-making. EPA are now seeking public feedback on how to best implement and improve the guide for agency staff to further advance efforts toward environmental justice. For a copy of the interim guidance go to: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/policy/ej-rulemaking.html

U.S EPA, 26 July 2010 http://www.epa.gov


EUROPE

EU may ban dichlorobenzene in air fresheners

2010-07-30

A new consultancy report, commissioned by the European Commission has recommended a ban on domestic uses of air fresheners and toilet deodorisers containing the chemical 1,4 dichlorobenzene. Now, the Commission will consider whether to implement the advice provided. The new, by consultancy RPA, was recently released by the Commission’s industry department. Dichlorobenzene-based air fresheners have been linked to lung cancer. RPA recommends a gradual ban to ease burden on manufacturers. An immediate ban is likely to have a significant negative impact on industry, it says. The ban should be “introduced in a phased manner to allow for its impacts to be more gradually absorbed,” according to the consultancy. Manufacturers would be given up to two years to remove the chemical from their products. The report focuses on domestic uses, but an annex also assesses the impacts of a ban on professional uses in places such as restaurants, bars and public toilets. RPA does not recommend such a ban, saying it could result in “considerable financial and competitiveness impacts” with very small health benefits. The Commission will “decide on the next steps” in the autumn following a consultation involving member states and other stakeholders, said an official. It will consider a ban on domestic uses, and also possibly on professional uses later. RPA notes that there has been a decline in domestic uses of dichlorobenzene-based air fresheners and toilet deodorisers. These are now mostly found in southern and eastern Europe. As a result the risks to consumers are overall lower than what was assumed in the last risk assessment of 2004, it says. Currently, Sweden bans consumer products containing the substance. Member state representatives surveyed by RPA overwhelmingly support EU-wide action on 1.4 dichlorobenzene rather than national measures, but not necessarily a full ban. The number of EU-based companies producing 1,4 dichlorobenzene has fallen from 15-20 in the mid 2000s to only two today, according to the report. Imports from India and China may account for more than 50% of the total amount of the substance sold to European manufacturers of deodorants, RPA points out.

ENDS Europe Daily, 23 July 2010 http://www.endseuropedaily.com



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