Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Compliance

Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976.  TSCA gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the ability to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals produced in the United States or imported into the United States.  EPA collects data on these chemicals and can require the manufacturer or importer to determine the risks that these chemicals pose to human health or the environment.  Under TSCA, the EPA can control the production, distribution, and importation of new and existing chemicals; establish specific disposal rules; and ban the use of high-risk chemicals, such as Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

TSCA also controls specific substances, such as asbestos, PCBs, lead, and biotechnology.  TSCA excludes tobacco, foods, food additives, drugs and cosmetics.  The TSCA program also excludes nuclear materials, munitions, and chemicals used solely as pesticides.  Other exemptions include naturally occurring materials, products of incidental reactions and end-use reactions, mixtures, byproducts, and substances made solely for export.

TSCA defines “research” as commercial research if a commercial entity directly provides partial or complete funding for the work.  It is not important who actually conducts the research.  If KSU personnel import or export chemicals for any purpose, the chemicals must be accompanied by import/export rule certifications.  In most cases, research activities are either exempt from TSCA rules pertaining to the significant new use rule and the pre-manufacture notice, or those activities are subject to fewer demands than those made on manufacturing.  As long as KSU meets the safety and recordkeeping requirements in 40 CFR 720.36 and 720.78, the chemicals created in small amounts for research are exempt from TSCA reporting.  However, if KSU were to produce chemicals commercially, more extensive TSCA requirements will apply.