Monday, May 3, 2021

U.S. EPA Interim Decision to Ban Irgarol (Cybutryne)

On April 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release announcing its interim decision for irgarol (cybutryne), which finalizes the cancelation of its use as an active ingredient in antifouling paint. EPA arrived at this decision after completing an ecological risk assessment that determined that irgarol is toxic to both freshwater and marine plants.

EPA also stated that its decision will help mitigate occupational handler inhalation and dermal human health risk by requiring irgarol powders to be sold in safe packaging.

EPA had issued a proposed interim registration review decision (PID) on Irgarol (Cybutryne) on Oct. 23, 2020. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically review pesticides to ensure that risk assessments reflect the best available science. The interim decision is part of a multi-step process to identify risks as well as actions that can help mitigate those risks.

EPA’s interim decision is consistent with steps the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken to ban the use of cybutryne in antifouling paint under the Antifouling Systems Convention (AFS). That international treaty prohibits the use of certain substances in anti-fouling paints and other anti-fouling systems deemed harmful to the marine environment. In some countries, including the United Kingdom, irgarol has already been banned from use in marine coatings used on boats.

The interim decision will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0003.

Under EPA’s interim decision, revised labels must be submitted within 60 days after the decision is published in the Federal Register, and the last use of existing stocks must occur before Jan. 1, 2023. For products that are only registered with EPA for antifoulant paint uses, registrants must submit a voluntary cancellation request by Jan. 1, 2023. EPA intends to actively work with registrants to make label amendments and/or product cancellations over the next two years.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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Washington State Considering PCB Prohibitions for Paints under their Safer Products Program

On June 1, 2021 (9:30 am PST), the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) will host a webinar, during which it provide an update on its efforts to identify safer alternatives to potential inadvertent Polychlorinated biphenyls (iPCBs) found in paints. As part of the webinar, Washington DOE will share findings on feasible and available  alternatives, as well as outline possible potential PCB restrictions on paint, including architectural wall coatings, spray paints, traffic paints and children’s’ art paints.

In May 2020, the department added Paints to the list of priority consumer products under the “Safer Products for Washington” program. DOE cited concerns over iPCBs as the reasoning.

Over the next two years, Washington DOE will work to identify alternatives and report back to the Legislature any proposed regulatory actions on June 1, 2022, and adopt any such regulations by June 1, 2023. Ultimately DOE could decide “no regulatory action is needed” if alternatives are not available or feasible, or they could possibly restrict the use of the certain pigments that contain iPCBs.


In 2019, the Washington State Legislature directed DOE to implement a regulatory program to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products (Chapter 70.365 RCW), known as the “Safer Products for Washington.”

The legislature identified five priority chemical classes: flame retardants; Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); Phenolic compounds; and Phthalates. The law requires Ecology to identify priority consumer products that are significant sources or uses of the chemical classes.

Chapter 70.365 Revised Code of Washington creates a process for the state Department of Ecology (DOE), in consultation with the state Department of Health, to regulate classes of chemicals in consumer products. The law requires DOE to designate priority chemical classes, identify products that contain these chemicals, determine regulatory actions, and adopt rules to implement regulatory actions.

As it relates to the coatings industry, in September 2019, DOE identified Food cans (bisphenols) and Paints (PCBs). Ecology released a report that provides further details on the program. PCBs have historically been used in a wide range of products, such as electronic equipment and carbon copy paper.

Inadvertent PCBs (iPCBs) are PCBs that are not intentionally added to products, but are instead produced as an unintended byproduct of the manufacturing process. Certain pigments/colorants including diarylide yellows, phlthalocyanine greens/blues and possibly some titanium dioxides may contain low concentrations of iPCBs. There are concerns that iPCBs have the potential to bioaccumulate to harmful concentrations in aquatic animals and fish which could lead to human dietary exposure.

ACA’s Product Stewardship Committee and PCB Workgroup are monitoring this issue and are engaged with Washington DOE. ACA members, please contact David Darling if you would like to join to the PCB Workgroup.

Contact ACA’s David Darling for more information.


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Axalta Partners with JETOUR on Eco-Vehicle Project

Axalta has signed a deal with JETOUR, a Chery Holding’s brand, to partner on its Intelligent and Healthy Ecological Vehicle Project. According to the companies, the partnership will aim establish technical standards for intelligent and eco-friendly vehicles, upgrade manufacturing technology and develop sustainable mobility.

Axalta says it will share resources and leverage cutting-edge technology to assist JETOUR in building an intelligent and robust vehicle ecosystem to boost sustainable development in China’s automotive industry.

The new partnership follows last year’s collaboration between Chery and Axalta to develop a sustainable product suite comprising a high-solid basecoat and 2K clearcoat. Leveraging R&D and technology from both companies, Chery and Axalta presented this technology together as an innovative sustainable best-practice at 2020 SURCAR Shanghai, a conference for the global automotive body finishing industry.

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Continental Products Rebrands as Continental Performance Coatings

After 105 years in business, Continental Products has changed its name to Continental Performance Coatings.

“While the highly respected Continental Products brand name has served the company well since its inception in 1916, the company no longer performs as the paint generalist that ‘products’ suggests,” said Guy Braun, director of Continental Performance Coatings. “The name Continental Performance Coatings, the industrial coatings division of Cru Performance Coatings, will better reflect our focus on problem-solving, VOC-compliant, high-performance OEM finishes and our expanding line of high-performance industrial maintenance coatings.”

According to the company, the rebrand encompasses innovation in the industry, futuristic thinking in product performance and a progressive approach in growth and collaboration among the team that creates trust between the company and employees. The company says the brand color, blue, represents the values of honesty, integrity and reliability.

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Nouryon and Renewcell Partner on Textile Recycling

Nouryon has signed an agreement with Renewcell to provide specialty chemicals and engineering solutions for its new textile recycling plant in Sundsvall, Sweden. The facility will recycle textile waste, including items such as worn-out jeans and production scraps, to manufacture 60,000 metric tons of Circulose® dissolving pulp per year.

According to the company, the facility is the first of its kind in the world and could potentially save hundreds of millions of garments from landfill and incineration each year, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emission from the textile industry. Operations on the facility are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2022.

“Nouryon is thrilled to support novel solutions such as this one, which accelerate the growth of the renewable fibers industry, leverage our essential chemistry and specialty solutions, and underpin our commitment to a sustainable future,” said Antonio Carlos Francisco, vice president renewable fibers at Nouryon.

New sustainable textile fibers, such as Circulose®, are a substitute for cotton and non-biodegradable fibers such as polyester. The use of recycled materials in textile manufacturing is expected to play a critical role in reducing the impact of the textile industry on water, land, and other natural resources.

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Songwon Establishes New Entity in China

Songwon Industrial Co. announced it has established a new business entity in China, Songwon International-Qingdao Co., Ltd. According to the company, the new organization will help ensure that Songwon remains well-positioned to continue providing customers in the region with high-quality products and service.

Songwon also announced the completion of the divestment of its shareholding in the Qingdao Long Fortune Songwon Chemical Co., Ltd. joint venture.

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Ashland Acquires Personal Care Business of Schülke & Mayr GmbH

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of the personal care business from Schülke & Mayr GmbH, a portfolio company of the global investment organization EQT.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ashland agreed to a purchase price of €262.5 million in an all-cash transaction funded with bank financing and available cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.

Ashland says the acquisition strengthens its consumer business portfolio and enhances the company’s specialty additives position while expanding the company’s biotechnology and microbiology technical competencies. The company says the move also advances Ashland’s environmental, social and governance agenda by further aligning the company’s personal care and household portfolio with the “clean beauty” trend and new generation of consumers seeking products with milder ingredients.

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