[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 219 (Wednesday, November 17, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 64129-64132]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25027]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Chapter I

[EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0622; FRL-9100-01-OCSPP]


TSCA Section 21 Petition for Rulemaking Under TSCA Section 6; 
Reasons for Agency Response; Denial of Requested Rulemaking

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Petition; reasons for Agency response.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action announces the availability of EPA's response to a 
petition received on August 16, 2021, from William D. Bush. The 
petition requests that EPA determine that the ``chemical mixtures 
contained within cosmetics present an unreasonable risk of injury to 
health and the environment,'' and issue a rule or order under the Toxic 
Substances Control Act (TSCA) to ``eliminate the hazardous chemicals 
used in mixtures [in cosmetics].'' After careful consideration, EPA has 
denied the petition for the reasons set forth in this document.

DATES: EPA's response to this TSCA section 21 petition was signed 
November 10, 2021.

ADDRESSES: The docket for this petition, identified by docket 
identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0622, is available at 
https://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention 
and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket 
Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-
0280.
    Due to the public health concerns related to COVID-19, the EPA 
Docket Center (EPA/DC) and Public Reading Room is by appointment only. 
For the latest status information on EPA/DC services and docket access, 
visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For technical information contact: Amy Shuman, Existing Chemicals 
Risk Management Division (7404T), Office of Pollution Prevention and 
Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 
Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-2978; email 
address: [email protected].gov.
    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 
422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 
554-1404; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, 
however, be of interest to those persons who manufacture (including 
import), distribute in commerce, process, use, or dispose of cosmetics. 
Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not 
attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by 
this action.

B. What is EPA's authority for taking this action?

    Under TSCA section 21 (15 U.S.C. 2620), any person can petition EPA 
to initiate a proceeding for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a 
rule under TSCA sections 4, 6, or 8, or to issue an order under TSCA 
sections 4, 5(e), or 5(f). A TSCA section 21 petition must set forth 
the facts which it is claimed establish that it is necessary to 
initiate the action requested. EPA is required to grant or deny the 
petition within 90 days of its filing. If EPA grants the petition, the 
Agency must promptly commence an appropriate proceeding. If EPA denies 
the petition, the Agency must publish its reasons for the denial in the 
Federal Register. A petitioner may commence a civil action in a U.S. 
district court seeking to compel initiation of the requested proceeding 
within 60 days of a denial or, if EPA does not issue a decision, within 
60 days of the expiration of the 90-day period.

C. What criteria apply to a decision on this TSCA section 21 petition?

1. Legal Standard Regarding TSCA Section 21 Petitions
    TSCA section 21(b)(1) requires that the petition ``set forth the 
facts which it is claimed establish that it is necessary'' to initiate 
the proceeding requested. 15 U.S.C. 2620(b)(1). Thus, TSCA section 21 
implicitly incorporates the statutory standards that apply to the 
requested actions. Accordingly, EPA has relied on the standards in TSCA 
section 21 and in

[[Page 64130]]

the provisions under which actions have been requested in evaluating 
this TSCA section 21 petition.
2. Legal Standard Regarding TSCA Section 6(a)
    In general, to promulgate a rule under TSCA section 6(a), EPA must 
first determine ``in accordance with section 6(b)(4)(A) that the 
manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of 
a chemical substance or mixture . . . presents an unreasonable risk.'' 
15 U.S.C. 2605(a). TSCA section (b)(4)(A) is part of the risk 
evaluation process whereby EPA must determine ``whether a chemical 
substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the 
environment,'' and thus, whether a rule under TSCA section 6(a) is 
necessary. 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(A). In particular, EPA must conduct 
this evaluation ``without consideration of costs or other non-risk 
factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or 
susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant to the risk evaluation 
by the Administrator, under the conditions of use.'' Id. Unless EPA 
establishes an exemption under TSCA section 6(g) (whereby certain 
unreasonable risks may be allowed to persist for a limited period) or 
EPA is addressing a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substance as 
set forth in TSCA section 6(h), the standard for an adequate rule under 
TSCA section 6(a) is that it regulates ``so that the chemical substance 
or mixture no longer presents'' unreasonable risks under the conditions 
of use. 15 U.S.C. 2605(a). EPA may eliminate the unreasonable risk of a 
chemical substance or mixture by regulating manufacture, processing, 
distribution in commerce, commercial use, or disposal of the chemical 
substance in one or more of the manners described in TSCA section 6(a).
3. Legal Standard Regarding TSCA Sections 3(2) and (10)
    TSCA section 3(2) excludes from the definition of a ``chemical 
substance'' ``any food, food additive, drug, cosmetic, or device (as 
such terms are defined in Section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 321]) when manufactured, processed, or 
distributed in commerce for use as a food, food additive, drug, 
cosmetic, or device.'' 15 U.S.C. 2602(2) (emphases added). In addition, 
TSCA section 3(10) defines ``mixture'' as ``any combination of two or 
more chemical substances if the combination does not occur in nature 
and is not, in whole or in part, the result of a chemical reaction; 
except that such term does include any combination which occurs, in 
whole or in part, as a result of a chemical reaction if none of the 
chemical substances comprising the combination is a new chemical 
substance and if the combination could have been manufactured for 
commercial purposes without a chemical reaction at the time the 
chemical substances comprising the combination were combined.'' 15 
U.S.C. 2602(10).
4. Legal Standard Regarding TSCA Section 26
    TSCA section 26(h) requires EPA, in carrying out TSCA sections 4, 
5, and 6, to make science-based decisions using ``scientific 
information, technical procedures, measures, methods, protocols, 
methodologies, or models, employed in a manner consistent with the best 
available science,'' while also taking into account other 
considerations, including the relevance of information and any 
uncertainties. 15 U.S.C. 2625(h). TSCA section 26(i) requires that 
decisions under TSCA sections 4, 5, and 6 be ``based on the weight of 
scientific evidence.'' 15 U.S.C. 2625(i). TSCA section 26(k) requires 
that EPA consider information that is reasonably available in carrying 
out TSCA sections 4, 5, and 6. 15 U.S.C. 2625(k).

II. Summary of the TSCA Section 21 Petition

A. What action was requested?

    On August 16, 2021, EPA received a TSCA section 21 petition (Ref. 
1) from William D. Bush (the petitioner) that requests EPA take several 
actions under TSCA section 6. The petition asks EPA to determine that 
the ``chemical mixtures contained within cosmetics present an 
unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment'' and seeks 
the issuance of a rule or order to ``eliminate the hazardous chemicals 
used in mixtures [in cosmetics].'' The petition also requests ``any 
other prudent [methods] of toxic mixture substance control [EPA] may 
see due and fit.''
1. Request for Determination That the Chemical Mixtures Contained 
Within Cosmetics Present an Unreasonable Risk of Injury to Health and 
the Environment
    The petition requests that EPA determine that the ``chemical 
mixtures contained within cosmetics present an unreasonable risk of 
injury to health and the environment.'' With respect to actions under 
TSCA section 6, TSCA section 21 provides only for the submission of a 
petition seeking the initiation of a proceeding for the issuance, 
amendment, or repeal of a rule under TSCA section 6(a). In general, 
before promulgating a TSCA section 6(a) rule, EPA must first determine 
``in accordance with section 6(b)(4)(A)''--that is, through a TSCA risk 
evaluation--whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk 
to health or the environment under the conditions of use. To initiate a 
TSCA section 6(b) risk evaluation, however, EPA generally must 
designate the chemical substance a high priority for risk evaluation. 
Prioritization of high priority substances for risk evaluation under 
TSCA section 6(b) and risk evaluation under TSCA section 6(b) are 
activities distinct from rulemaking under TSCA section 6(a). Because 
TSCA section 21 does not provide an avenue for petitioners to request 
the initiation of the prioritization process or the risk evaluation 
process through which EPA would determine whether ``chemical mixtures 
contained within cosmetics'' present an unreasonable risk, this Federal 
Register document does not address this specific request.
2. Request for Order by Rule That the Manufacturing Producers of 
Cosmetics Eliminate the Hazardous Chemicals Used in Mixtures in 
Cosmetics
    The petition requests that EPA ``[o]rder by [r]ule that the 
manufacturing producers of cosmetics eliminate the hazardous chemicals 
used in mixtures [in cosmetics].'' TSCA section 21 provides for the 
submission of a petition to initiate a proceeding for the issuance, 
amendment, or repeal of a rule under TSCA sections 4, 6, or 8, or to 
issue an order under TSCA sections 4, 5(e), or 5(f). As the petitioner 
is seeking issuance of a rule under TSCA section 6, this Federal 
Register document addresses this request.
3. Request for Other Methods of Toxic Mixture Substance Control the 
Agency Determines To Be Required
    The petition requests that EPA exercise ``any other prudent 
[methods] of toxic mixture substance control'' that the Agency deems 
``due and fit.'' As a regulatory body, EPA cannot deviate from the 
statutory remedies established under TSCA section 21. Therefore, a 
solicitation for EPA to exercise ``any other prudent [methods]'' that 
the Agency deems ``due and fit'' does not adequately identify an 
objective that is executable within TSCA section 21. Therefore, this 
Federal Register document does not address this specific request.

[[Page 64131]]

B. What support did the petitioner offer?

    To support the request for an order by rule that the manufacturing 
producers of cosmetics eliminate the hazardous chemicals used in 
mixtures in cosmetics, the petitioner offers information relating to 
human health impacts as a result of cosmetic application, human health 
and environmental impacts affected by cosmetic manufacture and import 
volume, and lack of cosmetic regulatory policy (Ref. 1, pp. 1-4). Of 13 
points included in that discussion, seven are excerpts from an article 
on the toxicity of chemicals and contaminants of cosmetics (Ref. 2); 
these points are discussed in detail below. For the remaining six 
points, the petitioner paraphrases information from the article (Ref. 
2), and references the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration and regulatory actions taken worldwide as each relates 
to human health and environmental impacts from cosmetic chemicals.
    Regarding the seven points attributed to the article on the 
toxicity of chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics, the petitioner 
cites various metrics associated with the manufacture and use of 
cosmetic products (Ref. 1, points 5, 10, 11, and 12) and the alleged 
environmental and human health effects resulting from exposure thereto 
(Ref. 1, points 1, 5, and 10).
    Regarding manufacturing metrics, the petitioner highlights 
references from the article by stating, ``[s]ince 2009, 595 cosmetic 
manufacturers reported using 88 chemicals, in more than 73,000 
[cosmetic] products'' (Ref. 1, point 5). The petitioner further states 
that ``American women use an average of 12 personal care products that 
contain 168 different chemicals'' and that the United States cosmetic 
industry since 2010 ``has grown an average of 4.1 percent annually'' 
with sales from 2016 totaling over $169 billion (Ref. 1, points 10 and 
11). Lastly, the petitioner points to increased import of cosmetics 
from 181 different countries by highlighting ``[c]osmetic imports from 
China increased 79 percent between FY 2011 and FY 2016'' (Ref. 1, point 
12).
    The associated health affects statements mentioned by the 
petitioner include that cosmetic chemicals ``have been linked to 
cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm'' and that ``[m]any of 
these products are applied directly to the skin, the body's largest 
organ, where ingredients can be absorbed directly into the 
bloodstream'' (Ref. 1, points 5 and 10). To expand on this point, the 
petitioner states ``[n]ot only are these toxic chemicals entering our 
bodies through direct application, but excess product that is washed 
down the drain pollutes our waterways and drinking water, and compounds 
doses of hazardous chemicals in air, water, food, and other consumer 
products'' (Ref. 1, point 1).
    In addition, the petitioner includes a summary of the findings and 
policy section of the Pollution Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. 13101) (Ref. 
1, points 14 and 15), though TSCA section 21 does not provide an avenue 
for recourse under such Act. The petitioner cites language from the 
Pollution Prevention Act which states that ``pollution should be 
prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible; pollution that 
cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe 
manner, whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented or 
recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner whenever 
feasible; and disposal or other release into the environment should be 
employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in an 
environmentally safe manner'' and that ``source reduction is 
fundamentally different and more desirable than waste management and 
pollution control.''
    The petitioner also provides two claims: (1) ``[t]oxic [c]hemicals 
added to and included in [c]osmetics are unreasonable;'' and (2) 
``[c]osmetic [d]isposal presents a clear unreasonable risk to the 
[e]nvironment.'' (Ref. 1, pp. 5-6). To support the former claim, the 
petitioner argues that the chemical mixtures contained in cosmetics 
provide no benefit to consumers considering said chemicals can ``harm 
public welfare and the environment through their use consumption and 
disposal,'' but does not cite or provide reference. To support the 
latter claim, the petitioner states that ``research studies of toxic 
waste entering the environment are clear in identifying cosmetics as a 
major hazardous waste emission,'' but does not cite or provide any 
reference to such studies.

III. Disposition of TSCA Section 21 Petition

A. What is EPA's response?

    After careful consideration, EPA has denied this TSCA section 21 
petition. A copy of the Agency's response, which consists of the letter 
to the petitioner and this document, is posted on the EPA petition 
website at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/tsca-section-21#cosmetics. The response, the petition (Ref. 1), 
and other information is available in the docket for this TSCA section 
21 petition.

B. What was EPA's reason for this response?

    TSCA section 21 does provide for the submission of a petition 
seeking the initiation of a proceeding for the issuance of a rule under 
TSCA section 6(a). The petition must ``set forth the facts which it is 
claimed establish that it is necessary to issue'' the requested rule. 
15 U.S.C. 2620(b)(1). When determining whether the petition meets that 
burden, EPA will consider whether the manufacture, distribution in 
commerce, processing, use, or disposal of a chemical substance or 
mixture, or any combination of such activities, may present an 
unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.
    EPA evaluated the information presented in the petition and 
considered that information in the context of the applicable 
authorities and requirements of TSCA sections 3(2), 6, 21, and 26. 
Notwithstanding that the burden is on the petitioner to present ``the 
facts which it is claimed establish that it is necessary'' for EPA to 
initiate the rule or issue the order sought, EPA nonetheless also 
considered relevant information that was reasonably available to the 
Agency during the 90-day petition review period. As detailed further in 
this Unit, EPA finds that the petitioner has not met its burden to 
support the requested actions.
    Under TSCA section 6(a), EPA must, by rule, issue regulations 
applying one or more of the listed requirements to the extent necessary 
so that a chemical substance or mixture found to present unreasonable 
risk no longer presents such risk.-TSCA section 3(2)(B), which defines 
``chemical substance,'' excludes ``any food, food additive, drug, 
cosmetic, or device (as such terms are defined in Section 201 of the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 321]) when 
manufactured, processed, or distributed in commerce for use as a food, 
food additive, drug, cosmetic, or device'' (emphases added). According 
to section 201(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 
``cosmetic'' means ``articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, 
or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body 
or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting 
attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and articles intended for 
use as a component of any such articles; except that such term shall 
not include soap.'' 21 U.S.C. 321(i). Under TSCA, ``cosmetics'' are not 
a ``chemical substance'' when manufactured, processed, or distributed 
in commerce for use as a cosmetic. Therefore, EPA cannot issue a rule 
pursuant to TSCA

[[Page 64132]]

section 6(a) to apply requirements to such cosmetics. In addition, 
while a ``mixture'' can be subject to TSCA section 6(a), because the 
requested action is for ``hazardous chemicals used in mixtures [in 
cosmetics],'' EPA cannot issue a rule pursuant to TSCA section 6(a) to 
apply requirements to cosmetics when manufactured, processed, or 
distributed in commerce for use as a cosmetic. To the extent the 
petition seeks action on ``cosmetics'' when manufactured, processed, or 
distributed in commerce as cosmetics--including direct regulation of 
cosmetics through an order by rule that cosmetic manufacturers 
eliminate hazardous chemicals used in mixtures in cosmetics or through 
an action to address the first claim that ``[t]oxic [c]hemicals added 
to and included in [c]osmetics are unreasonable''--the petition does 
not request actions that are within EPA's jurisdiction under TSCA.
    To the extent the petition seeks action on ``chemical substances'' 
within the TSCA section 3(2) definition of that term--including action 
to address the petitioner's second claim that ``[c]osmetic [d]isposal 
presents a clear unreasonable risk to the [e]nvironment''--EPA finds 
that the petitioner did not set forth facts establishing that it is 
necessary to initiate an appropriate proceeding pursuant to TSCA 
section 21. In particular, with respect to the second claim, EPA finds 
that the petition did not demonstrate facts that could support an EPA 
determination of unreasonable risk to the environment. Rather, the 
specific chemical substances identified by the petition as examples are 
discussed by reference to their potential human health effects when 
used in manufactured cosmetic products. In addition, while the petition 
cites TSCA and Pollution Prevention Act authorities applicable to 
disposal, there are no data or references offered to support the 
assertion that ``research studies of toxic waste entering the 
environment are clear in identifying cosmetics as a major hazardous 
waste emission'' (Ref. 1, p. 6). As explained above, TSCA section 
21(b)(1) requires that the petition ``set forth the facts which it is 
claimed establish that it is necessary'' to initiate the proceeding 
requested. 15 U.S.C. 2620(b)(1). TSCA section 21(b)(4)(B) also provides 
the standard for judicial review should EPA deny a request for 
rulemaking under TSCA section 6(a): ``If the petitioner demonstrates to 
the satisfaction of the court by a preponderance of the evidence that . 
. . the chemical substance or mixture to be subject to such rule . . . 
presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, 
without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible 
subpopulation, under the conditions of use,'' the court shall order the 
EPA Administrator to initiate the requested action. 15 U.S.C. 
2620(b)(4)(B). Consistent with these provisions, a petition for a TSCA 
section 6(a) rulemaking must set forth facts which would enable EPA to 
conclude that there is an unreasonable risk for which a TSCA section 
6(a) risk management rule is warranted. EPA does not find that the 
petition in this case sets forth facts which would enable EPA to 
conclude that the disposal of particular chemical substance(s) or 
mixture(s) in cosmetics presents unreasonable risk and that an 
appropriate proceeding should be initiated. To the extent the petition 
seeks other action cognizable under TSCA section 21 to address 
``chemical substances'' in cosmetics outside of cosmetic disposal, EPA 
similarly finds that the petition does not set forth sufficient facts 
to establish the necessity of initiating an appropriate proceeding 
under TSCA section 21.
    Finally, to the extent that the petition referenced the Pollution 
Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. 13101), the Agency reiterates that TSCA 
section 21 does not provide an avenue for recourse under such Act.

B. What were EPA's conclusions?

    EPA denied the request to issue a rule under TSCA section 6(a). 
TSCA section 3(2)(B) excludes ``cosmetic'' from the definition of 
``chemical substance'' when manufactured, processed, or distributed in 
commerce for use as a cosmetic. Therefore, cosmetics, and any 
combination of chemicals contained therein, are not chemical substances 
under TSCA when manufactured, processed, or distributed in commerce for 
use as a cosmetic. To the extent the petition seeks TSCA section 6 
action on ``cosmetics'' when manufactured, processed, or distributed in 
commerce as cosmetics, the requested actions are not within EPA's 
jurisdiction under TSCA. In addition, to the extent the petition seeks 
action on ``chemical substances'' within the TSCA section 3(2) 
definition of that term, EPA finds that the petition did not set forth 
facts establishing that it is necessary to initiate an appropriate 
proceeding pursuant to TSCA section 21. In particular, the petition did 
not identify the disposal of any particular chemical substance(s) or 
mixture(s) that could support an EPA determination of unreasonable risk 
to the environment and, therefore, did not set forth sufficient facts 
establishing that it is necessary to issue a TSCA section 6(a) rule 
addressing cosmetic disposal.

IV. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically 
referenced in this document. The docket includes these documents and 
other information considered by EPA, including documents that are 
referenced within the documents that are included in the docket, even 
if the referenced document is not physically located in the docket. For 
assistance in locating these other documents, please consult the 
technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

1. Bush, William D. Petition for Issuance of New Rules under Section 
15 U.S.C. 2605 re: [COSMETICS]. Received August 16, 2021.
2. Faber, S. (2020). The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in 
Cosmetics. Available at https://www.ewg.org/the-toxic-twelve-chemicals-and-contaminants-in-cosmetics.


    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: November 10, 2021.
Michal Freedhoff,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution 
Prevention.
[FR Doc. 2021-25027 Filed 11-16-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P