TURI » Our Work » Policy » Toxics Use Redu... » Decision-Making... » Councils and Co... » TURA Science Ad... » Higher and Lower Hazard Substances  

Higher and Lower Hazard Substances

Summary. Facilities in TURA-covered SIC codes that use 1,000 pounds or more of methylene chloride and have 10 or more full time employees are subject to Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) requirements as of January 1, 2014. These facilities are required to pay a fee, report on their use of listed toxic substances, and conduct toxics use reduction planning. See the press release issued by the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs office.

Find out more in the Frequently Asked Questions section and fact sheet in the right column. For questions, contact the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at 978-934-3275.


Under the 2006 Amendments to the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act, the TURA Administrative Council has the authority to designate up to 10 Higher Hazard Substances and up to 10 Lower Hazard Substances per year. The goal of this provision is to help Massachusetts companies and communities focus their toxics use reduction efforts on those chemicals that pose the most serious threats to health and the environment.

  •  The Higher Hazard Substance designation lowers the threshold for reporting, planning, and paying TURA fees to 1,000 pounds per year.
  •  The Lower Hazard Substance designation eliminates the per chemical fee. Reporting and planning requirements for these chemicals are unchanged.

To date, methylene chloride, formaldehyde, hexavalent chromium compounds, perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), cadmium, and cadmium compounds have been designated as higher hazard substances. Persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic (PBT) substances, which already have lower reporting thresholds, are also automatically designated as Higher Hazard Substances. In addition, as of December 2014, draft regulations have been prepared for designation of five additional substances as Higher Hazard Substances: cyanide compounds, dimethylformamide (DMF), hydrogen fluoride (HF), n-propyl bromide (nPB), and toluene diisocyanate (TDI). If final regulations are promulgated in 2015, these substances will be designated as Higher Hazard Substances effective January 1, 2016. 

The TURA program has also designated ten Lower Hazard Substances. Three were designated in 2008, effective in reporting year 2009: Isobutyl alcohol (CAS 78-83-1), Sec-butyl alcohol (CAS 78-92-2), and n-butyl alcohol (CAS 71-36-3).

Seven were designated in 2009, effective in reporting year 2010: butyl acetate (CAS 123-86-4), isobutyl acetate (CAS 110-19-0), ferric chloride (CAS 7705-08-0), ferric sulfate (CAS 10028-22-5), ferrous chloride (CAS 7758-94-3), ferrous sulfate (heptahydrate) (CAS 7782-63-0), and ferrous sulfate (CAS 7720-78-7).

Chemicals designated as Higher Hazard or Lower Hazard Substances are drawn from the TURA More and Less Hazardous Lists. These lists were created by the TURA Science Advisory Board as an informational resource.