New Regs Crackdown on Incandescent Bulbs and CTC Exposure: Kiplinger Forecasts

The EPA and Dept. of Energy are planning to enforce rules on hazardous CTC and inefficient incandescent light bulbs.

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Retail sales of most incandescent lightbulbs are now effectively off limits, with the Department of Energy fully enforcing rules that prohibit the import, manufacture and retail sales of most incandescent bulbs. Such enforcement includes slapping steep financial penalties — $542 per violation — on companies, which would translate into millions of dollars for large orders of incandescent bulbs. 

Most, if not all, incandescent bulbs can’t meet new efficiency requirements of 45 lumens per watt, prohibiting them despite the absence of a blanket ban. Note that retailers will no longer be exempt from these regulations, a shift from the previous policy that focused primarily on manufacturers and importers.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will limit worker exposure to CTC: carbon tetrachloride. A recent proposal, if finalized, would allow the agency to set the chemical exposure limit for CTC at 0.03 parts per million over a period of eight hours for use in manufacturing, recycling and laboratory settings. 

CTC is primarily used to manufacture other chemicals. Among them are hydrofluoroolefin refrigerants, aerosol propellants, and chlorinated agricultural products. The chemical has been federally banned in consumer products since the 1970s. 

CTC is one of 10 high-priority chemicals the EPA is currently evaluating under amendments made to the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016. Besides CTC, the agency has proposals for asbestos, methylene chloride and perchloroethylene. Experts think trichloroethylene will be the next chemical on the list addressed.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Matthew Housiaux
Reporter, The Kiplinger Letter
Housiaux covers the White House and state and local government for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in June 2016, he lived in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was the forum editor of Augustana University's student newspaper, the Mirror. He also contributed stories to the Borgen Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit focused on raising awareness of global poverty. He earned a B.A. in history and journalism from Augustana University.