Bipartisan lawmakers push EPA to rework formaldehyde assessment

By Ellie Borst | 04/30/2024 04:27 PM EDT

Nine House members are urging the agency to revisit its draft risk assessment, which found the chemical poses unreasonable risks to human health.

EPA headquarters.

EPA headquarters. Francis Chung/POLITICO | Francis Chung/E&E News

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is pushing EPA to reconsider its assessment that ties serious health risks to formaldehyde, a widely used chemical at the center of a decadeslong industry-backed challenge.

In a letter to the agency dated last Friday, nine House members asked the agency to get input from other federal agencies on a draft risk assessment that found formaldehyde poses an unreasonable risk to human health. If finalized, that determination would kick-start a rulemaking process to restrict or ban uses of the chemical.

“Given the wide range of important uses of formaldehyde in products from automotive parts to building and construction materials, any regulation must be carefully crafted and based on sound science,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Don Davis (D-N.C.).


The lawmakers also asked EPA to extend the public comment period deadline, hold a public meeting on the draft assessment and revise its “exceedingly difficult” proposed workplace standards for allowable concentrations of the chemical.