Health Risks Underestimated in EPA Chemical Assessment

On May 4, 2020, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) issued a report finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had underestimated the risks posed by a solvent -- carbon tetrachloride -- used for dry cleaning. The SACC's report reviewed the EPA's Draft Risk Evaluation for Carbon Tetrachloride, which was developed pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Draft Risk Evaluation concluded that carbon tetrachloride did not pose an "unreasonable risk" to the environment or public health, but the SACC found that the evidence presented was "too limited to assess the adequacy of animal and human health effects data." The SACC also found that EPA had "failed to acknowledge the long study history of the toxicity of carbon tetrachloride," which shows that the solvent "is toxic to the liver and kidney." The SACC noted that "[c]arbon tetrachloride has been repeatedly shown to be carcinogenic to the liver of rodents and is likely carcinogenic to the liver of humans as well."