California’s OEHHA To List PCBTF as Prop 65 Carcinogen

Posted on: December 20, 2018

Prop 65By Chelsea Lane

Proposition 65 requires the state of California to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity and for businesses to inform the people of California about exposures to these chemicals through warning requirements.

On November 23, 2018, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed adding para-chlorobenzotrifluoride, also known as p‑Chloro‑α,α,α‑Trifluorotoluene and PCBTF, to the Prop 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.

The original 30-day comment period was scheduled to close on December 24, 2018, but has been extended to January 23, 2019 based on a request from the American Coatings Association.

What is PCBTF?

PCBTF is a solvent used in paints, inks, coatings, and as an industrial intermediate in the production of other chemicals such as herbicides, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used for automobile parts and body cleaning.

Volatile hydrocarbon solvents, such as xylenes, are increasingly being replaced by PCBTF in some products because PCBTF is an exempt solvent for volatile organic compound determination.

Prop 65 Carcinogen

OEHHA has determined that PCBTF meets the criteria to be listed as a carcinogen under Prop 65 based on the findings of a 2018 report published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) entitled Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of p‑Chloro‑α,α,α‑Trifluorotoluene in Sprague Dawley Rats (Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD) and B6C3F1/N Mice (Inhalation Studies).

As stated in the study, “As a solvent with non-ozone depleting status, p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene also has greater use in end-user applications, potentially resulting in higher exposure compared to industrial settings.”

The NTP conducted a 3-month toxicity study and a 2-year toxicity and carcinogenicity study of PCBTF via whole body inhalation in rats and mice.

The 2-year inhalation toxicity study showed evidence of carcinogenic activity.

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Useful Information

NTP Report on PCBTF

OEHHA Notice of Intent to List

OEHHA Notice of Comment Extension Period


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