IC2 Member Spotlight: Cathy O'Dell
Cathy O_Dell

This issue's member spotlight shines on Cathy O'Dell, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Cathy is currently IC2 Treasurer and Chair of the Government, Outreach, and Recruitment Workgroup.

IC2: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Cathy: I grew up in the north woods of "middle Michigan" (a term I just invented to indicate the zone of Michigan within 100 miles of the Mackinaw Bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas) in the port town of Alpena, where I learned to sail, swim, and enjoy the outdoors. Since then, I've converted to "Minnesotan"... it's a great place, and I happen to enjoy winter very much, thank you! In college, I studied geology, and then earned a masters' degree in hydrogeology in the mid-1980s. Following this, I worked in environmental consulting for several years but made the switch to government scientist when my children were small. It's been almost 20 years, and I'm still at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Much of my working life has involved investigating and remediating soil and groundwater contamination on brownfield and other properties. But about ten years ago, I decided to try something new. I moved into the "special studies" program of the MPCA, where one of my projects was to coordinate preparation of Minnesota's 2008 legislative report on Decabromodiphenyl Ether (Deca-BDE). Then, in 2009, the Minnesota legislature passed the Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA), which required the MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to prepare a report discussing options to reduce and phase out priority chemicals in children's products and promote green chemistry. Working on that report brought me, Al Innes (in the MPCA's Toxic Pollution Prevention unit), and Nancy Rice (at the Minnesota Department of Health) together, and we still collaborate on chemicals policy issues and concerns, including through the IC2.
IC2: What is your job at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency?
Cathy: I'm a planner and policy specialist working in three topical areas: chemicals policy; contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and water quality standards. In each area, I focus on strategic planning and coordination, internally and with the MPCA's external partners. Recently much of my time has been devoted to developing and implementing a framework to guide assessment of CECs in sources (i.e., wastes and wastewaters regulated by the MPCA) and the ambient environment. We are very fortunate to have the resources to do this work, thanks to Minnesota's 2008 Clean Water Legacy Act and its Clean Water Fund.
IC2: What is your involvement in promotion of safer alternatives?
Cathy: To date, it's been pretty high level (policy and legislative). The MPCA's Toxics and Pollution Prevention staff (e.g., Al Innes) do the real, hands-on work in this area. That said, for many newly recognized contaminants (i.e., pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and other CECs), the Clean Water Act-mandated regulatory approaches for controlling environmental pollutants (i.e., setting water quality standards and issuing permits) do not seem practical. We expect alternative approaches like using safer alternative chemicals and green chemistry will be important pieces in reducing the presence of these contaminants in the environment.
IC2: What do you like most about your job?
Cathy: I enjoy working with others to examine the work we're doing; and adapting, adjusting, and reframing that work to achieve priorities and adapt to changing circumstances. My job frequently involves new projects and requires me to understand the issues in-depth. This, plus the competent, dedicated people I work with in government and the non-profit sector (including my IC2 colleagues!) is what makes this work so rewarding and enjoyable.
IC2: What is your vision for the IC2 over the next two years? What do you hope it will accomplish?
Cathy: The IC2's, Oregon Health Authority's (OHA), and Washington State Department of Ecology's (Ecology) successful application to U.S. EPA for a grant provides a path forward to achieving a founding goal of the IC2: to develop a comprehensive multi-state chemical data reporting and sharing database. I expect the work we do with OHA, Ecology, and the IC2 membership in implementing the grant will strongly influence the IC2's direction and goals going forward. Along with this, I expect the IC2 will gain broader recognition and have a higher profile, both of which should help us grow our organization in terms of members and finances.
IC2: What is one fun thing that most people in IC2 don't know about you?
Cathy: I enjoy bicycle touring. Though I enjoy riding my bike in and around the Twin Cities, vacation touring and experiencing a new place on a bike are the best! My last trip was a self-planned two week trip with friends around AndalucĂ­a, Spain several years ago. I am due for a new adventure. 
IC2 News
OHA, Ecology, and the IC2 Receive Exchange Network Grant

In mid-May, the Oregon Health Authority, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the IC2 learned that our EPA Exchange Network (NEIEN) grant proposal to build an Interstate Chemicals-in-Products Reporting System was accepted. This is a significant development that will allow us to build a multi-state reporting system to meet the needs of state laws such as Oregon's Toxic-Free Kids Act and Washington State's Children's Safe Products Act, among others.
Chemical Hazard Assessment Database Additions

A GreenScreen® for Galaxolide is among the newest additions to the IC2 Chemical Hazard Assessment Database. Galaxolide (1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-gamma-2-benzopyran) is a synthetic musk that is a common fragrance chemical used in cleaning products. Women's Voices for the Earth commissioned the assessment of Galaxolide, which received a GreenScreen Benchmark 1 score due to its high persistent, bioaccumulative, and aquatic toxicity properties.

Two other new assessments in the Database include GreenScreens for dodecyldimethylamine oxide and perfluorohexanoic acid (also known as C6).

Dodecyldimethylamine oxide is used in cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning products, as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, in a number of industrial applications, and as a laboratory reagent.

Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA or C6) functions as processing aid in fluorinated polymer production and is used in aqueous firefighting foams, water/grease repellents, and other commercial products. Per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances, including PFHxA, are components of and precursors for surfactants and surface protectors used in industrial applications and consumer products, including impregnating agents for clothing and textiles, coatings for paper and packaging, in waxes and cleaning agents, insecticides, firefighting foams, and hydraulic fluids in airplanes. PFHxA is also a breakdown product of fluorotelomer compounds used to produce stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging and household products. PFHxA is a candidate chemical to replace perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been largely phased out throughout the European Union and United States.
Upcoming Events
2016 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) & Environmental Conditions in Communities

The 2016 National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Environmental Conditions in Communities  will take place October 19-21, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The conference will celebrate TRI's 30th birthday under the theme TRI at 30: Working Together to Reduce Toxic Releases.
Member Updates
Washington State

Flame Retardants Legislation
Washington State has enacted legislation to address flame retardants in children's products and residential upholstered furniture. The bill, which passed the State House and Senate with unanimous support:
  • Bans five flame retardants: tris(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and additive uses of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA); and
  • Directs the Departments of Health and Ecology to determine whether an additional six flame retardants--bis(chloromethyl)propane-1,3-diyltetrakis (2-chloroethyl) bisphosphate (V6), tris(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TCPP), (2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB), bis(2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), isopropylated triphenyl phosphate (IPTPP), and triphenyl phosphate (TPP) (the last four are ingredients in Firemaster 550)--meet criteria for listing on the Children's Safe Products Act (CSPA) reporting list. It mandates a study on the exposure and hazard data available for each chemical, directs Ecology and Health to seek stakeholder input, and directs the Department of Health to make recommendations to the legislature about whether any of these six chemicals found to be chemicals of high concern for children should be banned in children's products and residential upholstered furniture.

The full text of the bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee is available on the Washington State Legislature's web page.
Children's Safe Products Act (CSPA)
The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) recently published a new CSPA product testing report, " Cadmium, Lead, and Other Metals in Children's Jewelry".

In 2015, Ecology evaluated the presence of cadmium, lead, and five other toxic metals in children's jewelry to provide data for assessing compliance with CSPA. Ecology purchased 159 items of inexpensive children's jewelry and screened them for metals with an X-ray fluorescence analyzer. From the screenings, 38 samples showing the presence of cadmium or lead were submitted for additional laboratory testing. Product information from 13 laboratory-tested samples were forwarded for compliance review, including product samples found to contain more than 5 percent cadmium or lead. The results are available in Ecology's product testing database.

For more information, see Ecology's March 15, 2016 press release or Children's Safe Products Act page.
Safer Alternatives to Copper Boat Paint
In 2007, an Ecology study found high levels of copper in two Puget Sound marinas--most of it coming from antifouling paints used to prevent marine life from attaching or growing on boat hulls. As a result of this study and the growing difficulties experienced by marinas and boat yards to meet stringent water quality discharge limits for copper, the Washington Legislature, with support from the Northwest Marine Trade Association and industry leaders, passed a law that phases out the use of copper-based anti-fouling paints beginning in 2018. Under the law:
  • By December 31, 2017, Ecology will submit a report to the Legislature with the results of a survey of antifouling paints available in the state and how antifouling paints affect marine organisms and water quality. Ecology's report will also identify potentially safer alternatives to copper-based anti-fouling paint.
  • As of January 1, 2018, the sale of new recreational vessels up to 65 feet long with copper antifouling paint will be banned.
  • As of January 1, 2020, the sale and application of antifouling paint containing more than 0.5 percent copper will be banned for recreational vessels up to 65 feet long.

Similar regulations are being considered in other states and countries.


Copper is a concern because of its effects on fish, especially to young salmon. Salmon fisheries are a major source of sustenance and recreation in Washington. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that fishing accounts for $3.18 billion of economic activity in Washington each year and supports over 17,256 jobs in the state. Fishing and boating also support local communities that depend on recreational tourism.
Problems with antifouling paints are not new. For many years, paints containing mercury or tributyltin were used as anti-fouling paints. Tributyltin was also initially (and erroneously) identified as environmentally safe. When concerns arose in the 1970s about the environmental effects of tributyltin, copper became the preferred alternative. In a 2011 Ecology study, copper was identified as a special concern for Washington's Puget Sound, where urban runoff and household toxics have threatened many salmon runs. Even low levels of copper are a significant threat to salmon and other fish in the Puget Sound. Copper interferes with a salmon's sense of smell, which reduces their ability to avoid predators, find their way back to their birthplace to spawn, and find mates. Copper also adversely impacts the ability of fish eggs and fry to develop naturally.
Ecology, Northwest Green Chemistry (a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance human and environmental health by fostering innovation and economic opportunities through sustainable and green chemistry and engineering solutions), and industry leaders like the Clean Boating Foundation are working together to evaluate alternatives to copper boat paints. The goal is to find effective products that will not turn out to be another regrettable substitution--replacing one toxic chemical with another of equal or greater toxicity--like copper was for tributyltin. Northwest Green Chemistry will work directly with manufacturers and other stakeholders to conduct a focused alternatives assessment based upon the framework developed in the IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide. Toxicity of the alternatives will be evaluated and other factors inherent in an alternatives assessment, such as performance, cost and availability, and exposure will be considered during the assessment process.

Many alternatives to copper-based paints are already on the market. Northwest Green Chemistry worked with boaters to develop a scorecard of paints and costs to help boaters select coatings. This information will be expanded upon during the alternatives assessment process.

For more information, contact Alex Stone, Ecology's Safer Alternatives Chemist, or Lauren Heine, Executive Director of Northwest Green Chemistry.
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute

With the help of a TURI Small Business grant , Merrimack Ales in Lowell evaluated safer alternatives to caustic sodium hydroxide. The small business tested how well electrochemical activation (ECA) technology works for cleaning and sanitizing equipment used during the beer brewing process. If effective, the technology could eliminate or greatly reduce caustic sodium hydroxide used for cleaning and the follow-on acids used for sanitization. See TURI's case study for more details.
Supporting Member Updates
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) recently released a report titled Decision Making in Alternatives Assessment: New York State P2 Institute Case Studies. NYSP2I reviewed three companies that have implemented alternative chemicals or are in the process of identifying and assessing alternatives in an effort to identify gaps in the IC2's Alternatives Assessment Guide. The report includes a summary of the three case study companies' alternatives assessment processes and compares them to the process outlined in the Guide. Models for displaying AA information and results and to facilitate decision-making at the company level are also included in the report.

For more information, contact Kate Winnebeck.
U.S. EPA Updates
Proposal to Add Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to the Toxics Release Inventory

EPA has proposed adding a HBCD category to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals. This proposal, if finalized, would expand the scope of chemicals subject to reporting and provide communities with more complete information on toxic chemical releases.

HBCD is a brominated flame retardant used mainly in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). EPS and XPS are used primarily for thermal insulation boards in the building and construction industry. HBCD may also be used as a flame retardant in textiles. Concerns about releases and uses of HBCD have been raised because it is found worldwide in the environment and wildlife and has also been found in human breast milk, fat tissue, and blood.

EPA has found that HBCD meets the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Section 313 chronic human health effects criterion for listing because it presents potential concerns for developmental and reproductive effects. EPA also believes that HBCD meets the environmental effects criterion for listing because it is highly toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Additionally, HBCD bioaccumulates and is persistent in the environment. As a result, HBCD meets the TRI criteria for a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemical and is proposed to be designated as a chemical of special concern, with a 100-pound reporting threshold.
Trichloroethylene Phase-Outs

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) assessment of trichloroethylene or TCE showed risk, the sole manufacturer of a fixative product using TCE voluntarily withdrew it from the marketplace. This product was used by artists, picture framers, graphic designers, and printers to provide a water repellant and protective finish. In 2015, EPA worked with the only U.S. manufacturer of the TCE spray fixative product, PLZ Aeroscience Corporation of Addison, Illinois, which resulted in an agreement to stop production of the TCE containing product and to reformulate the product with an alternate chemical. The EPA is now taking action to ensure no other manufacturers or importers enter the marketplace.

In a separate regulatory action under the Toxic Substances Control Act, EPA aims to reduce the risks from TCE in aerosol and vapor degreasing and as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning facilities. EPA's Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) requires anyone intending to initiate manufacture, including the import or processing of TCE for new uses, to notify EPA at least 90 days before doing so. The notification will allow EPA to evaluate the intended use and to take appropriate action. A few current uses of TCE, such as use in cleaners and solvent degreasers, film cleaners, lubricants, mirror edge sealants, and pepper spray, are not subject to the SNUR.
Assessment for 1-Bromopropane

On March 3, 2016 EPA released for public comment and peer review a draft TSCA Work Plan Chemical Risk Assessment for 1-Bromopropane (1-BP, also known as n-propyl bromide (nPB)), a chemical used primarily in spray adhesives, dry cleaning (including spot cleaners) applications, and degreasing uses. The assessment focuses on uses of products that have high 1-BP content and which present high potential for exposures to workers and consumers. Due to its low hazard profile for ecological receptors and low persistence and bioaccumulation potential if released into the aquatic or terrestrial environments, EPA did not perform an assessment of risk to the environment as part of this assessment.

The draft 1-BP risk assessment evaluated human health risks to workers and consumers from acute (short-term) and chronic inhalation exposures associated with 1-BP use in spray adhesives, dry cleaning (including spot cleaning), and degreasing operations (vapor, cold cleaning, aerosol). 1-BP may cause liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and lung cancer as a result of the exposure scenarios evaluated. The conclusions of this assessment include risks of adverse developmental/reproductive effects for women of childbearing age from several acute exposure pathways and both cancer and non-cancer risks for workers and occupational non-users chronically exposed to 1-BP in various exposure scenarios.

In addition to EPA's assessment, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) assessed risks associated with worker exposure to 1-BP, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) examined the hazards of 1-BP associated with different exposure durations. While each agency's review has a distinct focus based on their mandates, they draw similar conclusions about health hazards of 1-BP. The EPA, NIOSH, and ATSDR will continue to coordinate efforts in addressing concerns associated with this chemical.

The draft TSCA Work Plan Risk Assessment for 1-BP was available for a 60 day public comment period (docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0084). Press release and consumer fact sheet on 1-BP.
National Toxicology Program (NTP) Updates

An expert scientific panel has reviewed draft National Toxicology Program (NTP) technical reports on the carcinogenicity and toxicity of the flame retardant antimony trioxide and the metalworking fluid TRIM VX. NTP conducts mainly rodent studies on agents of public health concern, to identify potential human health hazards. The technical reports describe the methods, results, and NTP conclusions regarding levels of evidence for carcinogenic activity under the specific conditions of each study.

Antimony trioxide is the most commercially significant form of the metal antimony. It is used as a flame retardant in canvas, textiles, paper, and plastics, and as a catalyst in plastics manufacturing. The major source of human exposure is by inhalation during metal ore mining and smelting operations. Antimony trioxide dust and fumes have been shown to cause irritation of the respiratory tract and mucous membranes. It was nominated for NTP study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), due to substantial human exposure in occupational settings. NTP conducted two-week and two-year studies in male and female rats and mice. Peer reviewers agreed with the draft NTP conclusion of clear evidence of carcinogenic activity.

TRIM VX is a metalworking fluid used as a lubricant and coolant, and for cleaning tools and parts during metal cutting, drilling, milling, and grinding. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) nominated such fluids for NTP study because of their high production volume, the large number of occupationally-exposed workers, and the lack of carcinogenicity and toxicology data. NTP researchers conducted three-month and two-year whole body inhalation studies of TRIM VX in both male and female rats and mice. The peer review panel agreed with the draft NTP conclusion of clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female mice, and equivocal evidence in rats, based on lung neoplasms.
IC2 e-Bulletin
The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) is an association of state, local, and tribal governments that promotes a clean environment, healthy communities, and a vital economy through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.

The purpose of the IC2 e-Bulletin is to inform IC2 members and others of the activities of the Clearinghouse, its members, and related national and international programs. It is published approximately three times per year and is provided free. Funding for the e-Bulletin is provided by the IC2 membership. Previous issues are available.

The IC2 is a program of the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). NEWMOA provides management and staff support for IC2 and serves as its fiscal agent.
Membership Invitation

The IC2 invites businesses, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, consultants, and others to join the Clearinghouse. Supporting Members sign a Memorandum of Agreement demonstrating support for the principles of the Clearinghouse and provide annual dues to help fund baseline activities. All IC2 Supporting Members are eligible to participate in the IC2 Council, in IC2 Workgroups, and in webinars.

For more information, contact Topher Buck, (617) 367-8558 x309.
IC2's Workgroups

If you work for an IC2 Member or Supporting Member, consider becoming active in one of the four IC2 Workgroups. These provide a great opportunity to work on critical projects and to collaborate with others that are insightful and dedicated to improving public health and the environment through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.

Alternatives Assessment Workgroup
The IC2 Alternatives Assessment Workgroup supports state and local development of alternatives assessment (AA) methods, coordinates with other organizations involved in AA activities, and makes resources, common protocols, and results available to the IC2 membership.

Database Workgroup
The IC2 Database Workgroup assesses the chemical data needs and priorities of the IC2 membership and develops IC2 data and information systems to address those priorities. The Workgroup has reviewed a variety of chemicals databases and has developed several online systems.

Governance, Outreach, & Recruitment Workgroup
The IC2 Governance, Outreach, and Recruitment Workgroup maintains the Clearinghouse's governance framework, including membership criteria, member contributions, Board structure, and overall goals and objectives. The Workgroup also leads member recruitment and outreach efforts.

Training Workgroup
The IC2 Training Workgroup plans informational and technical training sessions for the IC2 members. These trainings, in conference call and webinar formats, are presented approximately four times per year.

If you are interested in any of these groups, visit the IC2 website or write to Topher Buck.
Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse | (617) 367-8558 x309| theic2.org