Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Environmental Waste Question - For pafalafa-ga ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Environmental Waste Question - For pafalafa-ga
Category: Science
Asked by: mar19-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 15 Aug 2006 15:50 PDT
Expires: 14 Sep 2006 15:50 PDT
Question ID: 756346
Hello Pafalafa,

I have an environmental waste related question for you. 

A glass shop uses a chemical abrasive (powder) product to do glass
polishing and bevelling. According to the abrasive supplier, the
un-used powder is non hazardous for characteristics toxicity when
tested by the EPA TCLP method.

Recently, CAM-17 analysis was done on the powder, and one of the heavy
metals exceeded California's total threshold limit concentrations
(TTLC). TCLP was then done on this particular heavy metal, and the
result was well below the EPA TCLP limit.

According to this link:

This powder is non-hazardous per Federal EPA TCLP. However, since it
failed the "Total Threshold Limit Concentration (TTLC) by analysis for
total concentration in waste (mg/kg)" it should then be classified as
"Persistent and Bioaccumulative Toxic Substances" in California???

But this doesn't make sense as this material has been in the market
place for 20 years. We must be missing something or on the wrong

Please see below for its MSDS:

------Extract of the MSDS --------------------------
Physical State:         Powder.
Boiling Point:          NA.
Freezing Point:         NA
Melting Point:          NA.
Solubility in Water     Insoluble.
pH:                     6.5 ? 7.5.
Specific Gravity:       4.5 ? 6.5.
Volatile Content:       NA.
Vapor Density:  NA.
Vapor Pressue:  NA.
Oder:                   NA.

Hazardous Decomposition:
Hazardous decomposition will not occur.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Hazardous polymerization will not occur.

11. Toxicological Information

The ingredients in this product have not been identified as
carcinogens by NTP, IARC, or OSHA.

12. Ecological Information

Not found. This product is not expected to present an environmental hazard.
Ecologically inert material. Due to low solubility bioaccumulation is not likely.

13. Disposal Considerations

Dispose in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.

14. Transport Information
DOT Shipping Name:                      Not a DOT Hazardous Material.
DOT Hazard Class:                       NA.
Land Transport ADR/RID Class:   NA.
IMDG Class:                             NA.
Air Transport ICAO/IATA Class:  NA.
Product Label:                          HMIS 1,0,0,X    (Chronic).

15. Regulatory Information

TSCA Status:
All components of this product are listed in TSCA.

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA):
It is not classified as a hazardous substance under CERCLA
regulations, 40 CFR 302.

EPA Superfund Amendents and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III Chemical:
Sara Title III: Section 302 Extremely: No.
Sara Title III: Section 313 Toxic: It is not a toxic chemical.
RCRA Status: No.

Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 15 Aug 2006 17:30 PDT
Maybe the right question to ask is that if this abrasive powder is
actually a Inorganic Persistent and Bioaccumulative Toxic Substances?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 15 Aug 2006 18:43 PDT

Thanks for directing this my way, but I have to admit, even with 25
years experience as an environmental professional, I still don't think
I can give any sort of comprehensive answer to this.

The reasons are:

--I'm familiar with, but not directly experienced in, California regulations.

--There are too many variables involved in the situation to be able to
offer any sort of definitive opinion.

It certainly isn't unusual for a substance to be exempt from federal
regulations, but subject to more stringent state controls -- that
happens all the time, especially in California, and may be the case
with your material.

On the other hand, there may have simply been a glitch in the testing
system, or a mis-interpretation of the regulations.

My first question for you is this:  Have you discussed the situation
with the materials supplier?  They certainly have a vested interest in
keeping themselves exempt from control as a PBT material, and they
should be willing to work with you to understand the results of the
test, and perhaps even provide you a reformulated supply if needed.

You should also carefully review the TTLC results, to make sure there
were replicate tests on several samples.  A single test on a single
sample may simply be an aberration.

Of course, it may also be the case that material IS a PBT, and has to
be handled accordingly.  But that's not a determination I can make
from a distance.

Check with the supplier and the testing lab, and let me know what you find out.

Good luck,


Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 15 Aug 2006 19:15 PDT
Hi paf,

Thank you for the information.

The response from the supplier is that CAM-17 should have never done
on the product. TCLP is all that's needed to demonstrate the product
is non-hazardous under federal EPA rules. The MSDS specifically states
this is not a toxic chemical.

We checked out the California Code of Regulations Title 22, Division
66261.24. Characteristic of Toxicity:

s 66261.24. Characteristic of Toxicity.

(a) A waste exhibits the characteristic of toxicity if representative
samples of the waste have any of the following properties:

(1) when using the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP),
test Method 1311 in "Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste,
Physical/Chemical Methods," EPA Publication SW-846, third edition and
Updates (incorporated by reference in section 66260.11 of this
division), the extracts from representative samples of the waste
contain any of the contaminants listed in Table I of this section at a
concentration equal to or greater than the respective value given in
that table unless the waste is excluded from classification as a solid
waste or hazardous waste or is exempted from regulation pursuant to 40
CFR section 261.4. Where the waste contains less than 0.5 percent
filterable solids, the waste itself, after filtering using the
methodology outlined in Method 1311, is considered to be the extract
for the purposes of this section;

(A) a waste that exhibits the characteristic of toxicity pursuant to
subsection (a)(1) of this section has the EPA Hazardous Waste Number
specified in Table I of this section which corresponds to the toxic
contaminant causing it to be hazardous;

!!!!!---------here comes the important part --------!!!

(2) if it contains a substance listed in subsections (a)(2)(A) or
(a)(2)(B) of this section at a concentration in milligrams per liter
of waste extract, as determined using the Waste Extraction Test (WET)
described in Appendix II of this chapter, which equals or exceeds its
listed soluble threshold limit concentration or at a concentration in
milligrams per kilogram in the waste which equals or exceeds its
listed total threshold limit concentration;

(A) Table II - List of Inorganic Persistent and Bioaccumulative Toxic
Substances and Their Soluble Threshold Limit Concentration:

(STLC) and Total Threshold Limit Concentration (TTLC) Values.


So it seems the TTCL test is applicable to PBT materials. I'm fairely
certain that the abrasive powder is not a PBT material.

What do you think?

Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 15 Aug 2006 19:30 PDT
I though it might be helpful to include the link here,

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 15 Aug 2006 19:57 PDT

Thanks for that extra's a big help.

Just to clarify...the glass shop is subject to California law if, in
fact, they operate in California.  I assumed this to be the case, but
I notice you don't actually make this explicit.

If the shop is NOT in California, and if the wastes aren't shipped to
CA, then the supplier is sort of right...CA law has no bearing on the

But, if the shop IS in CA, then CA law applies...I can't imagine why
the supplier might say otherwise.  And the regulation you site is
quite clear...if ANY of the eight conditions listed apply, then the
waste in question is considered toxic.

In other words, a waste that flunks the TCLP test -- and thereby
flunks condition (2) in the regulation --is a PBT as far as CA law is

At least, that's my read on the situation.

This is probably a good time for the glass shop to get in touch with
its state or national trade association...they usually have regulatory
experts at their disposal who can take a more in-depth look at a given

And I judge from the absence of comment that you're satisfied with the
lab results...Is that the case?

Again, I simply can't provide a definitive answer for this situation,
but can only suggest some 'next steps' for the glass shop to explore.

Let me know how else I can help you on this.


Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 16 Aug 2006 04:46 PDT
Hi pafalafa,

The unused product didn't fail the TCLP test. It only failed the CAM-17 TTLC test.

We were also told that the actual waste should be tested; instead of
unused product. More to come...

Clarification of Question by mar19-ga on 16 Aug 2006 09:11 PDT
Hi pafalafa,

The issue has been resolved. Thank you for your help.

Please mark this question as answered. Your work deserves every penny
and more. Thanks.
Subject: Re: Environmental Waste Question - For pafalafa-ga
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 16 Aug 2006 09:48 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

That's great!  Glad to hear you managed to get things worked out, and
hope my comments were able to help in some small fashion.

Thanks for offering to let me post an answer...much appreciated.

All the best,

mar19-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy