EPA Withdraws Significant New Use Rules (SNUR) for Carbon Nanotubes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally withdrawn Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) enacted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for functionalized carbon nanotubes (fCNTs). The SNURs were published earlier this year using direct final rulemaking procedures. The SNURs for functionalized carbon nanotubes were required to be withdrawn after the Agency received adverse comments on the rules. 

Originally, the EPA had concluded the following are significant new uses that represent a significant concern for human health or environmental effects:

  • the use of CNTs without impervious gloves where dermal exposure is expected
  • manufacturing CNTs for uses other than as thin films for electronic device applications
  • manufacturing, processing or using CNTs in a form other than a liquid
  • use of CNTs involving an application method that generates mist, vapor or aerosol except in a closed system
  • use of CNTs that results in release to surface waters or disposal other than by landfill or incineration

The EPA will likely pass the proposed SNURs for fCNTs later this year.