The U.S. EPA maintains a list of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals to identify chemicals and chemical categories which may be found in hazardous wastes regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This list was created to help implement EPA's national RCRA waste minimization policy. It is being used to promote voluntary waste minimization efforts to reduce the generation of PBT chemicals found in RCRA hazardous waste by at least half by the year 2005. This list of 30 Waste Minimization Priority Chemicals (WMPCs) replaces the list of 53 chemicals EPA identified in its 1998 Federal Register "Notice of
Availability: Draft RCRA Waste Minimization Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) Chemical List." More information on how EPA identified the chemicals in the current list.
EPA has also developed other lists of persistent bioaccumulative, and toxic pollutants for use in specific programs:
As part of its Multimedia Strategy for Priority Persistent,
Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) Pollutants, EPA has identified 12 pollutants for emission reductions because they are priorities under the US-Canada Binational Toxics Strategy. This initial set of Priority PBT Pollutants includes: aldrin/dieldrin, benzo(a)pyrene, chlordane, DDT and its metabolites, hexachlorobenzene, alkyl-lead,
mercury and its compounds, mirex, octachlorostyrene, PCBs, dioxins and furans, and toxaphene.
In an effort to obtain better information on PBT chemicals, EPA has implemented regulatory changes to its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program to track PBTs that are released to the environment in in very small amounts.
EPA has also developed an evaluation tool called the PBT Profiler, which predicts PBT potential of chemicals. This assement tool estimates the environmental persistence (P), bioconcentration potential (B), and aquatic toxicity (T) of discrete chemicals based on their molecular structure. The model compares results with the PBT criteria established for Premanufacture Notices (PMNs) submitted under section 5 of TSCA; and
the final PBT rule for reporting chemicals under TRI.