High production volume chemicals have annual production and/or importation volumes above 1 million pounds. In the U.S., about 3,300 chemicals (excluding polymers) out of approximately 70,000 chemicals in commerce are used in such substantial quantities. While there are no authoritative estimates of the amount of total chemical use in the U.S., 4.4 to 7.1 trillion pounds of HPV chemicals are produced/imported annually.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also maintains a list of 5,235 HPV chemicals, compiled in 2000. The OECD list includes chemicals which have annual production volumes greater than 1 thousand metric tonnes (2.2 million pounds) in more than one economically developed country.
The U.S. HPV chemicals were identified through information collected under the
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Update Rule (IUR) from company reports of chemical use in 1990, 1994, and 1998. Organic chemicals that are manufactured in, or imported into, the United States in amounts equal to or exceeding 10,000 pounds per year are subject to reporting under the TSCA IUR. Companies are only required to report their chemical production/imports as a range.
TSCA use reporting is required every four years. EPA is in the process of updating its HPV list using 2002 reporting.
Note that some important chemical categories are not included in EPA's HPV list. Four categories of substances that are included in the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory are largely excluded from reporting under the IUR. These categories are polymers, inorganic substances, microorganisms, and naturally occurring substances. In addition, several specific categories of chemicals (pesticides, food additive, drugs and cosmetics) are excluded from both the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory and IUR reporting because their use is regulated under other statutes.
EPA's High Production Volume Chemical Lists
1990 HPV Challenge Program Chemical List
1994 List of HPV Additions
1998 List of HPV Additions
OECD's High Production Volume Chemical List