New EPA rules that require all chemicals to be labeled with their chemical names may result in the inadvertent use of toxic aluminum sulfates, the Environmental Protection Agency has said.
The EPA released its final rule Wednesday, saying that, based on a review of data from the chemical industry, the chemicals pose risks to fish.
The rule also mandates that all chemicals be labeled “as used in this chapter.”
It also makes it clear that “as the term ‘as used’ suggests, this chapter does not apply to all chemical compounds.”
“This rule will help protect public health and the environment by ensuring that chemicals that have been identified as endocrine disruptors and other toxic chemicals are appropriately labeled,” the agency said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Administration said it would review the rule.
In a letter to the agency’s public health office, the chemical companies, the American Chemistry Council and other trade groups said that, even with the new labeling requirements, they would still have to disclose the chemical names on their packaging.
“As consumers, we are concerned about the potential for confusion between the term used and the chemical’s chemical name, which could lead to confusion for consumers,” the chemical manufacturers said.
“We believe that it is important to ensure that the terms used in labeling are clearly distinguishable from the name of the chemical.”
The chemical industry argues that the new rules would put their chemical in the same category as a new class of pesticides called biocides, which have a similar chemical structure but are widely used for their anti-bacterial properties.
The chemical companies have also pushed for the EPA to ban the use of aluminum sulfides in food packaging.
The industry has said that aluminum sulfide is a carcinogen and that it could cause cancers in humans.
The agency has said the chemical is safe for use in food products.