U.S. – EPA Update on Substance Restriction of PIP 3:1

Last month we reported on the upcoming restriction in the U.S. of Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1) (CAS 68937-41-7) in articles. Early indication is that PIP 3:1 may be contained in a number of EEE products – wire sheathing and foam gaskets are emerging as key examples. However, most manufacturers don’t know the full extent of the potential applications given that this substance is not restricted anywhere else. This created a risk for product manufacturers, importers, and distributers as of March 8th, 2021.

There are a few exclusions to the restriction including “Processing and distribution in commerce for use as an adhesive and sealant until January 6, 2025, after which such activity is prohibited”, but there are still several EEE applications not covered by an exclusion.

EPA delays enforcement

On the same day that the PIP 3:1 restriction came into effect, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” on the restriction of PIP 3:1. This is EPA’s way of saying that they will not enforce the restriction during this time. The “No Action Assurance” was done in conjunction with launching an additional 60-day comment period to collect new input on the five PBT substances which were the subject of final rules under the U.S. TSCA regulation.

The press release states “the agency will exercise its enforcement discretion regarding the prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and the articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added.

The EPA acknowledges that there are newly raised issues that need to be considered with regard to the restriction in articles.

The EPA announcement is available on their news releases[1].

[1] EPA announcement, https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-seeks-public-comment-protecting-human-health-and-environment-pbt-chemicals