The Hill article A chemical waste industry study released last month by the Environmental Protection Agency found chemicals could be dangerous to humans, animals, plants and aquatic life.
The report, which was prepared by the American Chemistry Council and the American Association of Chemical Contractors, found a wide range of chemical compounds, including: chlorinated hydrocarbons, including benzene and xylene; nitric acid, the main component of smokestack smoke; chlorinated pesticides and herbicides; and volatile organic compounds, which can cause cancer.
Researchers said there is no standard for determining the health risks associated with chemicals.
They said they believe most chemicals will be detected when they are present in a product, but the risk of exposure is low, even in a small amount of a substance.
In one test, researchers tested a chemical called dioxane.
One of the chemicals in the study was found to have an extremely high potential for exposure to human cells, which is why it was excluded from the list of “hazardous” chemicals.
But the report said the agency also found that many of the most dangerous chemicals are relatively easy to test, including chlorine, which many people do not know about and is often found in household cleaners.
Some of the compounds in the report include: acetone, a solvent used in the manufacture of acetylene; benzene, a carcinogen; and brominated flame retardants, also known as BFRs, which are used to coat steel and glass in insulation.
Asbestos, a common building material, was found in three of the nine compounds in question, the report found.
A few of the more toxic chemicals were also found in paints and epoxy.
“Our study identified the most common chemical components of hazardous materials that are frequently used in chemical products, including chlorinated water, benzene (brominated), and trichloroethylene (trichlorosulfonic acid),” the report stated.
Other substances that were listed in the analysis include: hydrogen peroxide, a commonly used solvent used to bleach and disinfect food; ethylbenzene, used in paints, sealants and to tan leather; benzaldehyde, a chemical used to make epoxy; bromine, used as a solvent in welding; and acetic acid, a paint solvent.
The study, which focused on chemicals used in industrial manufacturing and related industries, found there were 4,000 chemicals in use in manufacturing and 1,000 in food manufacturing, according to the EPA.
There are more than 30,000 industrial chemicals in existence, with more than 8,000 known carcinogens, according the agency.
While the EPA does not regulate the chemicals, it is required to publish a list of known carcinogenic chemicals and chemicals that are considered potentially hazardous.
More than 60 percent of chemicals in a chemical list are listed as hazardous, according a 2016 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration.