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Chemical Legislation in Massachusetts


Toxics Use Reduction Act 

The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) was enacted in Massachusetts in 1989. The Act requires Massachusetts companies using certain amounts of listed toxic chemicals (“Large Quantity Toxics Users”) to:

 

  • Prepare a Toxics Use Reduction Plan assessing the use of toxic chemicals at the facility and evaluating options for reducing the use of toxic chemicals.
  • File an annual report for every listed chemical that the facility manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses above applicable thresholds. 
  • Pay annual toxics fees. 

 

 

The list of toxic/hazardous chemicals under TURA includes substances listed under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), and The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or "Superfund"). 

Chemicals designated as Higher Hazard or Lower Hazard Substances are drawn from a larger informational list of "more hazardous chemicals" and "less hazardous chemicals.” 

Currently, the higher hazard substances are perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), cadmium and cadmium compounds, and PBTs. The Council has voted to designate hexavalent chromium compounds and formaldehyde and higher hazard substances, but these designations have not yet been adopted in regulations. The ten lower hazard substances are: isobutyl alcohol (CAS 78-83-1), sec-butyl alcohol (CAS 78-92-2), n-butyl alcohol (CAS 71-36-3), butyl acetate (CAS 123-86-4), isobutyl acetate (CAS 110-19-0), ferric chloride (CAS 7705-08-0), ferric sulfate (CAS 10028-22-5), ferrous chloride (CAS 7758-94-3), ferrous sulfate (heptahydrate) (CAS 7782- 63-0), and ferrous sulfate (CAS 7720-78-7). 

The Act also established the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) to promote reduction of toxics and use of safer alternatives. 

Information on TURA
Other Relevant Regulations


Restrictions on BPA in Children’s Reusable Food or Beverage Containers 

On December 15, 2010, the Massachusetts Public Health Council approved new regulations that designate as a banned hazardous substance BPA-containing reusable food or beverage containers that are designed for use by children ages three and younger. The ban applies to such containers manufactured on or after January 7, 2011, or sold at retail on or after July 1, 2011. 

The regulation was issued under the state’s hazardous substances labeling law, which authorizes the Commissioner of Public Health to determine that any substance or mixture is a “hazardous substance,” defined as a substance with certain hazardous properties that may cause substantial personal injury or illness during reasonably foreseeable use, or any toy or other article intended for use by children which presents an electrical, mechanical, or thermal hazard. The law imposes labeling requirements on hazardous substances intended for household or personal use. If an article cannot be labeled adequately to protect public health, or the article poses imminent danger, then the Commissioner may declare the item a “banned hazardous substance” that is prohibited in the state. 

MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 94B, §§ 1-10