The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA.
Petitioners requesting EPA to list 1-BP, also known as n-propyl bromide (nPB), have demonstrated its adverse health and environmental impacts. This chemical is used in a range of products and processes, including dry cleaning, electronics and metal cleaning, pharmaceutical and agricultural products, and spray adhesive applications.
Under the CAA, EPA is required to regulate emissions of air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants. The original CAA list of regulated air toxics included 189 pollutants. Since 1990, EPA has modified the list through rulemaking so that it now includes 187 pollutants.
In this action, EPA has granted petitions that were submitted in 2010 and 2011 from the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asking the agency to add 1-BP to the list of hazardous air pollutants in the CAA. After reviewing the evidence provided by the petitioners, EPA determined that “emissions, ambient concentrations, bioaccumulation or deposition” of 1-BP may harm human health, including causing cancer as well as reproductive and neurological problems.
Granting these petitions is the first step in a series of actions to address air emissions of 1-BP. In a subsequent action, EPA will modify the Code of Federal Regulations to add 1-BP to the CAA list of hazardous air pollutants. After 1-BP is added to the list of hazardous air pollutants, EPA may consider revising or creating new emissions standards for source categories that emit 1-BP.