By Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the public release of its Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) database which was previously used almost exclusively by EPA. The database contains comprehensive use and exposure  information on more than 7,600 of the most widely used chemicals in the United States, gathered from Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulated manufacturers and importers of TSCA chemicals.

While many industries and companies believe that the TSCA does not apply to them, under the CDR rule, many companies are required to provide information on chemicals used in children’s and other consumer products, along with reports on commercial applications and industrial uses of chemicals. In order to make the database more useful to the public EPA is requiring companies to substantiate confidentiality claims to ensure that as much information as possible is made available publically.

As summarized by EPA, the CDR rule requires companies that manufacture or import certain chemicals to report manufacturing and import data every four years when site-specific production volume exceeds 25,000 pounds. For 2011 EPA received reports on 7,674 chemicals, including 354 that were reported as used in children’s products. 1,704 chemicals were reported as used in consumer products, and 3,073 were used in commercial applications or products. The remaining chemicals reported were for industrial use only.

In an interesting note, although reporting on these chemicals is required, currently there are no requirements that the existing chemicals be evaluated for safety. The CDR database is available at