To protect human health and the environment, NIH works to assure compliance with statutes and regulations governing chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). NIH minimizes potential release of TSCA-regulated substances such as mercury, lead-based paint, asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and works to remove TSCA materials from campus via the
NIH decommissioning program.
As an example of NIH progress in minimizing TSCA-regulated substances on campus, NIH originally had over 100 transformers containing PCBs. NIH has either removed or retro-filled those transformers, and has monitored the retro-filled transformers to ensure that they remain safe and PCBs are not reconstituted.
Another example of a NIH program to reduce TSCA-regulated chemicals on NIH campus is the
NIH Mercury Hazard Reduction Campaign. NIH mercury reduction efforts began as a voluntary initiative in 2001, and in 2008 restrictions became mandatory through
NIH issued Manual Issuance 3033, which prohibits the procurement and use of items and materials containing mercury unless it is justified through a waiver process.