United States
                            Environmental Protection
                            Agency
                                                    Office of Pollution
                                                    Prevention and Toxics
                                                    (7409)
       EPA742/F-98/020
       November >998  
 &EPA
                                                   The goal of EPA's strategy is to farther
                                                   reduce risks to human health and 'the
                                                   environment from existing and future
                                                   exposure to priority PBT pollutants.
                        FACT SHEET

                        DRAFT  MULTIMEDIA STRATEGY FOR
                        PRIORITY  PERSISTENT,
                        BlOACCUMULATIVE, AND TOXIC  (PBT)
__^_	POLLUTANTS	

THE  PROBLEM

Persistent, bioaccumulative toxic pollutants (PBTs)
are highly toxic, long-lasting substances that can
build up in the food chain to levels that are harmful
to 'human and ecosystem health. They are
associated with a range of adverse human .health
effects, including.effects on the nervous system,
reproductive and developmental problems, cancer,                                   "
and genetic impacts.  EPA's challenge in reducing          -  .  .     _                  em A 
risks from PBTs stems from the pollutants' ability to       4  MAI N ELEM ENTS  OF  EPA S
travel long distances, to transfer rather easily            ~
among air, water, and land, and to linger for             oTRATEG Y.
generations in people and the environment.
                                                *  Develop and implement national action
                                                plans to reduce priority PBT pollutants,
                                                utilizing the full range of EPA tools;

                                                "^  Continue to screen and select more priority
                                                PBT pollutants for action;
 EPA is committed to protecting children and
 women of child-bearing years from exposure
 to PBTs, and reducing the concentration of
 PBTs in our Nation's -waterways.
  BETTER  MONITORING OF PBTs IMPROVES
     THE PUBLIC'S "RIGHT-TO-KNOW"

 The-total number of fish consumption advisories (i.e.
 consumption restrictions) in the United States increased
' by 80 percent from 1,278 in 1993 to 2,299 in 1997.
      .''

, Change in Number of Fish Consumption Advisories from
                  1993-1997
                                                  Prevent new PBTs from entering the
                                               marketplace; and,

                                               "^ Measure progress of these actions against
                                               our Government Performance and Results Act
                                               (GPRA) goals and national commitments.
Puerto Rico
                  Key
                  I  [No change or decrease

                  [iijT] Increase (1-10)

                  Hjlncrease (11-30)
                                                EPA's First 12 Priority PBT Pollutants
                                                From the Canada- U.S. Binational Toxics
                                                Strategy
                                                 aldrin/ dieldrin
                                                 benzo (a) pyrene
                                                 chlordane
                                                 DDT
                                                 hexachlorobenzene
                                                 alkyl-lead
mercury 85 compounds
mirex
octachlorostyrene
PCBs
dioxins & furans
toxaphene
                  ^Increase (>30)

In addition, the following states have issued statewide advisories
for certain types of waters due to PBTs: ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT,
NJ, NY, OH, IN, Ml, MO, NC, AL, FL, LA, and TX.

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WHY  IS  A  STRATEGY  NEEDED?

To date, EPA actions to reduce emissions of
PBTs have been largely separate regulatory
activities aimed at different environmental
media (air, water, or land). Such actions will
now be better coordinated to assure, for
example,  that regulations removing the
pollutant from air do not inadvertently result in
transferring the pollution to the land or water.
Developing an Agency-wide strategy enables
EPA to harness all of its tools ~ voluntary,
regulatory, international,  enforcement,
compliance, and research -- and direct them at
a set of priority pollutants of common concern
to all EPA program offices.

HOW WILL EPA MAKE THIS

STRATEGY WORK?

EPA's strategy outlines a number of actions the
Agency will take to reduce exposures to and
uses of PBTs. Some of the near-term actions
include:

Preventing the introduction of new PBTs into
commerce that may pose an unreasonable risk to
human health and the environment, and to require
testing to confirm a chemical's PBT status. (Refer to
TSCA New Chemicals Federal Register Notice dated
10/5/98)

Encouraging voluntary reductions of priority
PBTs in hazardous waste. EPA's Office of Solid
Waste has challenged industry to voluntarily target
priority PBTs found in hazardous waste for waste
minimization activities. (EPA has proposed a list of
53 PBTs for this purpose in the draft RCRA PBT List
in the Federal Register Notice dated 11/9/98.)

Giving the public information on mercury
emissions from utilities.  EPA will require
Utilities to conduct coal and emissions sampling for
mercury in order to analyze the link between
mercury emissions and sources.

Increasing the public's right-to-know about
 local sources of PBT emissions.  EPA's Toxics
Release Inventory (TRI) program will issue a
proposed rule in late 1998 that will add certain PBTs
to the Toxics Release Inventory and lower reporting
thresholds for PBTs already on TRI so that the
public will have the right to know about these
pollutants.
Evaluating fish in U.S. water bodies for PBT
contamination. EPA's Office of Water will conduct
a comprehensive study of PBT contamination in fish
tissue as an indication of PBT contamination in our
nation's water bodies.

WHY ARE  PARTNERSHIPS  SO

IMPORTANT?

EPA cannot do this alone and will rely on close
cooperation with its regulatory partners to
carry out these shared priorities.  EPA will need
their input to ensure that local and regional
PBT problems are adequately addressed.
Additionally, EPA will be engaging in
partnerships with industry, environmental
groups, and the public and will strive to fully
involve stakeholders.  Long-term success will
be based on cooperative efforts that are
mutually beneficial.  The following partnerships
exemplify the spirit of EPA's Strategy:

i/ The American Hospitals Association (AHA),
Healthcare Without Harm (HWH), and the EPA
reached a landmark agreement with the goal of
virtually eliminating mercury-containing waste
from hospital waste streams by the year 2005.

t/' Three Indiana  steel facilities - Bethlehem
Steel Burns Harbor, Ispat Inland Inc. Indiana
Harbor Works, and U.S. Steel Gary Works -
signed an agreement to reduce the use of
mercury at  their facilities through pollution
prevention.

/ The Chlor-alkali sector of the chemical
industry has committed to reduce mercury use
by 50 percent by 2005.
    HOW DO I  FIND OUT  MORE?

   For copies of EPA's Draft PBT Strategy
   and other related documents, call the
   Pollution Prevention Information
   Clearinghouse at (202) 260-1023.

   Documents are also available on the
   World Wide Web at:
         http://www.epa.gov/pbt

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