January 9, 2022
For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding a new pollutant to a list of those it has deemed unsafe to breathe, according to a story from The Hill on Jan. 6.
It added a chemical called 1-bromopropane (1-BP), normally used in dry cleaning, stain removers, adhesives and cleaners, to its list of hazardous air pollutants.
The listing, which was announced in a Wednesday, Jan. 6 Federal Register notice, represents the first time the agency added a substance to the list since it was created by Congress in 1990.
The move is expected to require industry to adhere to rules that regulate emissions of other hazardous air pollutants, sometimes called HAPs.
In 2020, the EPA found that 1-BP presented “unreasonable” risks for consumers, bystanders and workers for most consumer and commercial uses of the substance.
It cited developmental issues from short-term exposure and both developmental issues and cancer from long-term exposure.
Environmental groups, which sued the EPA to get it to add 1-BP to the list, say the addition of the chemical will help protect communities.
“The listing of 1-BP is a historic first: the first new HAP in over thirty years, ensuring that communities across the country will be protected from the widespread use of this toxic chemical,” Earthjustice attorney Tosh Sagar said in a statement.
Sagar argued that the latest move should be just a start, saying that the agency should specifically look at chemicals belonging to a class known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, going forward. These chemicals have become widespread in the U.S. and certain types have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer.