Tuesday, May 19, 2020

EPA Releases Draft Risk Assessments for Several Antimicrobials

On May 14, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft risk assessments as part of registration review of several antimicrobials used as preservatives in paints and coatings. The agency routinely conducts periodic reviews to evaluate and update health and safety assessments of approved antimicrobials. EPA recently published draft risk assessments for a class of antimicrobials called isothiazolinones.

EPA’s draft risk assessments are available in the following dockets, specific to each listed isothiazolinone:

Regarding OIT (octhilinone), an isothiazolinone commonly used to preserve paints and coatings, EPA raises concerns for inhalation and dermal exposure for both occupational use (application of paint) and residential / consumer use (application of paint), except for occupational brush / roller application for inhalation exposure.  EPA concludes that risk to fish and other aquatic life is not expected from chronic OIT exposure, but “acute risks to fish, aquatic invertebrates, and, especially aquatic plants cannot be precluded based on the available data, and are, therefore, presumed.”  (See EPA Draft Risk Assessment for OIT, p. 7)

ACA is coordinating with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Household and Commercial Products Association to develop comments due to EPA by the July 13 comment deadline.  ACC is conducting a technical assessment to further comment. In addition, EPA is interested in hearing from ACA members about personal protective equipment, engineering controls, and other risk mitigation strategies used during application of paints and coatings.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman  for more information.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/antimicrobials-epa/
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Monday, May 18, 2020

Senate EPW Committee Advances Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation

On May 6, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA 2020) and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 as amended by a vote of 21 to 0.

ACA strongly supports the water bills package, and in a letter in advance of the bill markup and vote, had urged the committee leadership to pass the measures.

AWIA 2020 provides roughly $17 billion in new federal authorizations to invest in our infrastructure for projects across the country. It sets a two-year goal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to complete its feasibility studies for potential projects, consistent with the standard set by President Trump. The Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 reauthorizes Safe Drinking Water Act programs that support drinking water infrastructure and provide resources and technical assistance to communities facing critical drinking water needs.

The bills were introduced by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The senators introduced the draft bills on April 21, 2020.

“Every American relies on water infrastructure. Millions of Americans across the country rely on Army Corps of Engineers projects to safely navigate our waters, stay safe from flooding and storm damage, and reap the benefits of healthy aquatic ecosystems and marshlands,” said Sen. Carper after passage.

Capito and Cardin serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Cramer and Duckworth serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife.

ACA Support

In a May 1 letter to Sens. Barrasso and Carper who serve as chairman and ranking member, respectively, ACA noted its support for  a robust program to upgrade and improve the aging inland waterways as well as America’s ports, the gateway to commerce.

ACA also urged the Senate committee leadership to include the Innovative Materials for America’s Growth and Infrastructure Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act, S. 403/H.R. 1159, in any legislative package considered by the Committee, as this bill would encourage investing in new techniques and materials, including coatings, that would help to extend the life of critical public works.

“The coatings industry has been investing millions of its own dollars to develop the most innovative class of coatings, adhesives and insulating foams. These materials will play an important role in designing the 21st Century infrastructure that is needed to meet 21st Century challenges. Investment in our nation’s infrastructure is critical and cannot wait any further,” ACA stated.

The IMAGINE Act would establish a task force to assess existing standards and test methods for the use of innovative materials in infrastructure, identify key barriers in the standards area that inhibit broader market adoption, and develop new methods and protocols, as necessary, to better evaluate innovative materials. In addition, innovative material hubs would be developed to further drive research and development of different innovative materials for use in infrastructure projects. Under the bill, research funds are dedicated to the development of innovative materials. Specifically, an “Innovative Bridge Program” and a “Water Infrastructure Innovation Program” are included in this legislation.

ACA believes that successful infrastructure legislation must promote innovative technologies and drive solutions that improve the performance of our national infrastructure. By protecting the surfaces to which they are applied, coatings are a significant contributor to any effort to improve U.S. infrastructure. New, technology-driven coating materials can make our public works safer, and more resilient and sustainable, and respond better to extreme weather, rising sea level, and other 21st century challenges like chemical damage. For instance, ACA cited that unprotected steel structures in harsh environments can lose as much as 1 mm in thickness in as little as five years. This loss contributes to structural weakness, and the steel must be replaced. But a thin protective coating applied to the steel can slow or delay the corrosion process and significantly extend the life of the steel by 15 or more years, even in offshore environments. For example, coatings applied to the San Mateo Bridge in Hayward, California extended the service life of the bridge by an additional 25-45 years.

ACA also noted that coatings are also integral for protecting our water. Protective pipe coatings for water transmission are frequently overlooked but play a vital role: the coatings work as both an internal lining and a corrosion-resistant external coating, for both potable and non-potable water transmission pipelines, acting as a barrier for both mechanical resilience and resistance against both chemical and climactic impact.

ACA stressed that America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act will only be enhanced by inclusion of the IMAGINE Act: America’s water infrastructure and drinking water systems will be greatly improved by the use of innovative coatings.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.

 

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/water-bills/
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Washington State to Add Paints Under “Safer Products for Washington” Program

Earlier this month, the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) said it would to add Paints to the list of priority consumer products under the “Safer Products for Washington” program. DOE cited concerns over inadvertent Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as the reasoning.

According to DOE, “stakeholders expressed concerns that paints, in addition to printing inks, account for a significant portion of the exposure pathways to inadvertent PCBs (iPCBs) found in pigments. Studies suggest paints use a slightly higher percentage of pigments compared to inks. Based on our research, we are expanding this product category to include paints. This expansion provides an opportunity to reduce more exposures from iPCBs.”

DOE is scheduled to file the final Priority Consumer Product list with the Washington Legislature on June 1, 2020, which will include additional details on why Paints were added to the list.

DOE would then work over the next two years 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 Ecology 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.

Background

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 Printing Inks (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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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/washington-ipcbs/
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Air Products to Invest $2 Billion for Landmark Coal-to-Methanol Project in Indonesia

Air Products has signed a definitive agreement for a long-term onsite contract for a world-scale, coal-to-methanol production facility in Bengalon, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Under the long-term onsite contract, PT. Bakrie Capital Indonesia, part of the Bakrie Group, and PT. Ithaca Resources, part of the PT. AP Investment, will reportedly supply the coal feedstock and has committed to offtake the methanol production for sale within Indonesia. Air Products stated that it will invest about $2 billion to build, own and operate the air separation, gasification, syngas clean-up, utilities, and methanol production assets to produce methanol for Bakrie and Ithaca. This facility will reportedly enable nearly two million tons per year (TPY) of methanol to be produced from nearly six million TPY of coal. The project is expected onstream in 2024.

“This is another example of our long-term strategy to deploy capital into high-return strategic industrial gas projects,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products’ chairman, president, and chief executive officer.

According to the company, Air Products’ core competency is its ability to develop, execute, own, and operate complex process facilities that help customers create engines of economic growth and social development. Air Products added that is also executing a number of gasification projects in China as well as the Jazan project in Saudi Arabia.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/air-products-to-invest-2-billion-for-landmark-coal-to-methanol-project-in-indonesia/
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Dow Appoints Univar Solutions as Exclusive Distributor of VORASURF™ Silicone Surfactants

Univar Solutions Inc. has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of VORASURF Silicone Polyurethane Additives from Dow across North America. “With this exclusive authorization, we continue to strengthen our strong and deep partnership with Dow to meet the needs of customers in North America and drive new growth opportunities,” said Chris Fitzgerald, coatings, adhesives, sealants, & elastomers (CASE) industry director for Univar Solutions in the United States.

Univar Solutions stated that collaborating with Dow will enable Univar to provide customers with a broad portfolio of reliable ingredients to solve their toughest challenges and develop more innovative products.

“We continue to expand our portfolio to address strong market demands for additives and surfactants enabling customers to achieve emerging performance, sustainability, and profitability challenges in the polyurethane foam space,” said Christian Velasquez, global strategic market director for polyurethane additives at Dow.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/dow-appoints-univar-solutions-as-exclusive-distributor-of-vorasurf-silicone-surfactants/
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Oxea Changes Name to OQ Chemicals

Global chemical company Oxea has officially changed its corporate name to OQ Chemicals as a token of its final integration into the newly formed energy company OQ, the company stated. “We are committed to provide the same service level and to support the growth and success of our customers,” said Dr. Oliver Borgmeier, responsible for the Downstream International Assets at OQ.

The company reported that it will continue to invest in innovation and aim to add 30 percent to its total production capacity for carboxylic acids with a sixth world-scale production plant in 2021. OQ Chemicals also plans to bring on-stream additional production capacity for TCD Alcohol in 2021 that will cover the anticipated global demand for years to come.

“Our aim with this new company is to develop a unique integrated model for an energy company that delivers sustainability and business excellence. The world will know us for our people, our agility, customer-centric approach and innovation. We have an ambitious growth plan aiming to double our EBITDA in the next ten years and investing over USD $28 billion in new projects. We will also invest in alternative energy, retail, and gas-to-plastics projects. This will be exciting for our people, our customers, and our communities,” said OQ Group CEO Musab Al Mahruqi.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/oxea-changes-name-to-oq-chemicals/
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Azelis Enters Agreement with Perstorp

Azelis has announced its new distribution agreement with Perstorp. Azelis will distribute Perstorp’s polyols and solutions portfolio in parts of Northern Europe, enabling Azelis to extend its product offering in this region for both the performance chemicals and the CASE market segment. The product offering consists mainly of decorative and industrial coatings, printing inks, synthetic lubricants, and various plastic materials.

According to Azelis, this agreement supports the organic growth strategy of Azelis through a multi-national coverage with its partners. The company added that Perstorp’s high-quality portfolio is a great new asset in Azelis’ lateral value chain in the respective countries.

“We are confident that the strategic partnership with Azelis will provide our customers with an outstanding customer service and strong supply chain. Perstorp’s decision was driven by Azelis’ commitment to growth and dedicated organization for each industry, its market knowledge, commercial drive and continuous focus on innovation,” said Klaudija Cavala, director Channel Management, Business Area Specialty Polyols & Solutions at Perstorp.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/azelis-enters-agreement-with-perstorp/
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