Saccharin Removed from US EPA Hazardous Substance ListDec 27th, 2010 | By Michael Bittner | Category: Environmental Management
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed saccharin, a common artificial sweetener, and its salts from the agency’s list of hazardous substances. Saccharin is no longer considered a potential hazard to human health.
Saccharin is a white crystalline powder that is three hundred times sweeter than sucrose or sugar. It is most commonly used in diet soft drinks, chewing gum, juice, pharmaceutical coatings, cosmetics and nickel electroplating baths.
Saccharin was labeled a potentially cancer-causing substance in the 1980s. In the late 1990s, the U.S. National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-evaluated the available scientific information on saccharin and concluded that it was not a potential human carcinogen. Because the scientific basis for saccharin’s remaining on the EPA’s lists no longer applies, the agency has removed saccharin and its salts from these lists.
Effects of EPA’s Change
Saccharin and its salts were defined as a listed hazardous waste (EPA Hazardous Waste Code U202) in 1980. Because they were listed hazardous wastes, saccharin and its salts were also included as hazardous substances under 40 CFR 302.4. The EPA’s ruling removes saccharin and its salts from both the hazardous waste list and the hazardous substance list.
About the Author
Michael Bittner, CPEA, is an associate partner in the Boston, U.S.A. office of Environmental Resources Management and editor of the EHS Journal. He has more than 20 years of experience in the EHS field, including 17 years of EHS consulting experience and four years as the corporate environmental manager for a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Mr. Bittner specializes in global EHS solutions including
- Compliance and management systems auditing.
- EHS management systems implementation and design.
- Sustainability solutions.
- Mergers and acquisitions support.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Auditing Roundtable.
Photograph: Lolipop by Claudia Meyer, Paris, France.