Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Final Health Assessment For Trichloroethylene TCE

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the final health assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE) to the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. The final assessment characterizes the chemical as carcinogenic to humans and as a human noncancer health hazard. This assessment has undergone several levels of peer review including, agency review, interagency review, public comment, external peer review by EPA’s Science Advisory Board in January 2011, and a scientific consultation review in 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences.

TCE is one of the most common man-made chemicals found in the environment and is frequently found at Superfund sites across the country, TCE’s movement from contaminated ground water and soil, into the indoor air of overlying buildings (known as vapor encroachment), is of concern to regulators. TCE toxicity values as reported in the assessment will be considered in:

  • Establishing cleanup methods at the 761 Superfund sites where TCE has been identified as a contaminant

  • Understanding the risk from vapor intrusion as TCE vapors move from contaminated groundwater and soil into the indoor air of overlying buildings

  • Revising EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level for TCE as part of the carcinogenic volatile organic compounds group in drinking water, as described in the agency’s drinking water strategy

  • Developing appropriate regulatory standards limiting the atmospheric emissions of TCE – a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act

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