The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - New EPA Proposed Regulations

The proposed regulations can be found here: methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, and carbon tetrachloride.  The proposed rules will ban the use of these chemicals in many circumstances; however, research use will be permitted. Where use of these chemicals is allowed, the exposure limits will be significantly lower than current limits, air monitoring will be required, an exposure control plan must be implemented, and employees must be trained annually.  Safety organizations, including the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), have sent comments to the EPA addressing the challenges research labs will encounter if the regulations go into effect as written.  EPA currently plans for these proposed regulations to take effect in the second half of 2024. It should be noted that the effective date could be delayed.  In addition, there could be changes to the regulations before they are finalized.

EHS safety advisors will begin asking if labs/work areas use or store these chemicals during the 2024 annual review to ensure we have an up-to-date chemical inventory.  If you are currently using these chemicals, EHS recommends researching if other chemicals can be used in your process.  If you have the chemicals in storage with no plans for use, we recommend disposing of the chemicals through our Chemical Waste Pickup Request.

Labs/areas interested in air monitoring for these chemicals before it becomes required can complete the Request for Chemical Exposure Evaluation and return the completed form to EHS’s Industrial Hygienist, Justin Newnum. The sampling requirements in the proposed regulations is more complicated than current requirements so working through the process will take longer than normal.   The lab/department is expected to pay for samples/shipping costs associated with the analysis.