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WASHINGTON -- November 23 -- Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency took several chemicals off its list of regulated, smog-forming, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs react in sunlight to form ground-level ozone, or smog, a major lung irritant. The agency decided that the newly delisted chemicals do not cause enough ozone to require regulation.
One of the chemicals, tertiary butyl acetate, known by its acronym TBAC, is used in making pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other products. The agency contended that TBAC is much less reactive than other VOCs and, as a result, does not significantly contribute to smog. The agency said it wants industry to use TBAC instead of more reactive solvents.