PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Chemical Evaluations

EPA Chief Calls for More Authority Over Dispersants (The New York Times)

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson urged Congress to pass legislation strenghtening the EPA's authority over oil dispersants, asking for increased testing and disclosure of the chemical ingredients in Corexit. Jackson asserted that new dispersant legislation "would give us critical transparency and openness protections that right now EPA cannot provide by law."

(19 Jul 2010)

EPA and Other Federal Agencies Collaborate to Improve Chemical Screening (EPA)

The FDA joins the EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the National Institutes of Health's Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) in the Tox21 collaboration, which uses federal agencies' combined resources to develop methods to more effectively predict how chemicals will impact human health and the environment. According to the NTP, "The addition of the FDA...allows biomedical researchers and regulatory scientists...to more rapidly screen chemicals and find more effective ways to protect the health of the public."

(19 Jul 2010)

Gulf Seafood Tested for Oil, But Not Dispersants (TC Palm)

The FDA is not testing fish to determine whether compounds found in dispersants used in the Gulf are present in seafood. EWG asserts that the use of dispersants is "irresponsible" because they contain heavy metals, arsenic, chromium, and copper, with little information on their long-term effects.

(14 Jul 2010)

EPA Relies on Industry-Backed Studies to Determine Safety of Weed Killer (The Huffington Post)

The EPA is publishing studies of the health effects of the pesticide Atrazine in drinking water that have been funded by companies with financial interest in the weed-killer. Many of these studies, which allege that the pesticide has minimal health risks, have not been scrutinized by independent scientists.

(09 Jul 2010)

Minnesota Department of Health Lists Chemicals of High Concern (Minnesota Public Radio)

The Minnesota Department of Health released a list of 1755 hazardous substances used in consumer products and industrial processes. "The list doesn't consider how often people are exposed to the chemical or the risk of exposure" because there is limited access to toxicity information. The Health Department may use the list to increase public awareness or other organizations might point to the list to inform consumers.

(02 Jul 2010)

Potentially Harmful Chemicals Used in Pennsylvania Drilling (New York Times)

Chemicals being used to drill natural gas wells in Pennsylvania are linked to neurological problems, cancer, and other health problems. Using data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Associated Press hopes to release a full list of gas drilling chemicals used in Pennsylvania online. Environmental advocates are concerned that these chemicals are polluting their drinking water and harming their health.

(29 Jun 2010)

Chemical Companies Set to Oppose TSCA Disclosure (ICIS.com)

Chemical companies are planning to lobby against the proposed TSCA reform to disclose chemical hazard information and chemical identities. Conversely, NRDC Senior Attorney Daniel Rosenberg asserts, “Besides the EPA not having enough information about these chemicals, the public doesn’t either."

(16 Jun 2010)

Sen. Schumer Asks FDA to Share Data On Possible Sunscreen Chemical-Cancer Link (The Washington Post)

Sen. Schumer (D-NY) asked the FDA on Sunday to disclose findings about the possible connection between retinyl palmitate and skin cancer. According to Schumer, "With the recent reports suggesting a possible link between skin cancer and a common chemical found in sunscreens, the FDA must now act to protect consumers," particularly by evaluating the scientific data and providing recommendations.

(14 Jun 2010)

The Poison Crib: When Protective Chemicals Harm (Salon.com)

Recent scientific evidence has led the EPA to propose putting a popular flame retardant, which is used in nursing pillows, cribs, and strollers, among other products, on their list of Chemicals of Concern. PBDEs, the most widely used chemical, is linked to ADD, hyperactivity, hearing problems, slow mental development, and cancer in children. According to the CDC, 97% of Americans have flame retardants in their blood.

(11 Jun 2010)

Ingredients of Controversial Dispersants Used on Gulf Spill Are Secrets No More (The New York Times)

The EPA disclosed a full list of ingredients in Corexit 9500 and 9527, the dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) commented, "In order to hold BP accountable and to protect our citizens, we must provide all the information to the public and independent researchers so that they can verify the unfolding situation and long-term impact."

(09 Jun 2010)