PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Chemical Evaluations

Slow Death by Rubber Duck (Washington Post)

"Provocative and groundbreaking, Slow Death by Rubber Duck reveals how the living of daily life creates a toxic soup inside each of us."

(02 Mar 2010)

States Push EPA, Congress to Curb Business Confidentiality Claims for Chemicals (NY Times)

States are demanding greater disclosure of alleged trade secrets related to chemicals regulated by EPA. According to one state official, "We're talking about a very basic right to know, which is needed by consumers, regulators, workers. ... If [a chemical] is in products we're going to use, we feel like people ought to have access to robust information."

(02 Mar 2010)

EPA Considers Requiring Reporting of Toxic Hydrogen Sulfide (U.S. EPA)

After a 16-year review, EPA is recommending that it begin requiring polluters to report their releases of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide can be released from factory farms, wastewater treatment plants, oil and gas operations, and other human activities. The public may comment on the proposal here.

(01 Mar 2010)

EPA Inspector Faults Excessive Trade Secret Protections (U.S. EPA)

EPA's IG found in a new report that EPA’s procedures for handling confidential business information (CBI) requests "are predisposed to protect industry information rather than to provide public access to health and safety studies," and the EPA should "develop CBI classification criteria to improve EPA’s transparency."

(24 Feb 2010)

California Moves to List BPA as Toxin (Breast Cancer Fund)

The California Environmental Protection Agency signaled its intent to add bisphenol A (BPA) to the state’s official list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects, adding to the mounting evidence that the plastics chemical should be banned from food and beverage containers. The list is part of California's right-to-know program, know as Proposition 65.

(16 Feb 2010)

Decades of Out-of-Control Trade Secrets Claims at EPA (Environmental Defense Fund)

A 1992 report from EPA, "Influence of CBI Requirements on TSCA Implementation," shows the extent of trade secrecy allegations that hide chemical data from the public. Very little has changed in the 18 years since, and even more data are hidden from public view today.

(12 Feb 2010)

Neurotoxicity Tests Could Become Faster (Softpedia)

According to researchers in Germany, neurotoxicity analysis could become in the very near future a lot faster and easier to perform, and will also return more accurate results.

(02 Feb 2010)

Bite Taken Out Of Chemical Secrecy (OMB Watch)

The EPA announced on Jan. 21 a new practice that will prevent chemical manufacturers from hiding the identities of chemicals that have been found to pose a significant risk to environmental or public health.

(27 Jan 2010)

Chemical Secrecy Increasing Risks to Public (OMB Watch)

Excessive secrecy prevents the public from knowing what chemicals are used in their communities and what health impacts might be associated with those substances, according to a recent analysis of government data by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG).

(25 Jan 2010)

BPA, Toxic Chemicals Found in Infant Cord Blood (Environmental Working Group)

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG have, for the first time, detected bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic component and synthetic estrogen, in umbilical cord blood of American infants. The report's findings constitute hard evidence that each child was exposed to a host of dangerous substances while still in its mother’s womb.

(02 Dec 2009)