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EPA Pulls Two Important Chemical Rules

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View Marianne Engelman Lado's blog posts
10 September 2013, 1:57 PM
Rules would have increased information about dangerous chemicals
Recent moves by the EPA could keep important scientific information about chemicals hidden from the public. (Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock)

To say we at Earthjustice are disappointed regarding the recent news that the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn two chemical rules would be an understatement.

EPA’s decision to pull these rules is truly a shame because the proposed regulations would have increased transparency of health and safety information related to potentially dangerous chemicals. We already have detailed the many reasons why our existing chemicals law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, is woefully deficient and outdated – and now this. The two rules are years-old initiatives to compile a federal "chemicals of concern" list and to reform confidentiality rules for health and safety studies related to new chemicals.

If the EPA’s latest action doesn’t concern you, here’s some more info to put this into perspective: One of the regulations would have added Bisphenol A—a chemical included in many water bottles, other plastic products and thermal receipt paper that has been linked to a number of potential health concerns—to the list of chemicals of concern. The withdrawal of the other rule allows manufacturers of new chemicals to keep hiding the names of chemicals tested in health and safety studies, even if those studies find that chemicals might have caused environmental or health impacts. This means that we, the public, won’t be able to find out which of these chemicals might be harmful!

The EPA’s reasoning? The agency told the Huffington Post the rules are: "no longer necessary." The agency explains that it pulled these two rules because the EPA has undertaken separate work to evaluate chemical safety. But that explanation doesn’t hold much weight.

The EPA and the Office of Management and Budget were under pressure from the American Chemistry Council not to allow these proposed rules to see the light of day. The EPA’s failure to use even the limited authority it has under TSCA reinforces the fact that we need TSCA reform. TSCA needs to be revamped to ensure that in the future the EPA will fulfill its mandate to protect the American public from toxic chemicals and that the chemicals industry won’t continue to be such a black hole of information. Now, more than ever, a congressional effort to transform and replace this law must move forward.

If not, Americans will become more and more vulnerable to chemical exposure.

The spread of BPA is far worse than even old EPA standards can handle. Even if we ban BPA from being used that doesn't address the massive cleanup that needs to be done. BPA is easily spread via water making every recycling plant heavily contaminated and thus making every recycled plastic contaminated, including plastics labeled BPA free. This contamination spreads to metals, glass, papers and even ground water. Thermal Receipt paper makes it so every consumer has been exposed and while I work for a company that sells only bpa free thermal paper, most retailers don't use bpa free paper. I have written a blog on the effects of bpa on women you can read here, about the possible dangers of BPA that would worry anyone.

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As a Voter, Taxpayer, Veteran and Citizen I am utterly DISGUSTED with "our" bribed and treasonous "regulators" kowtowing to corporate profits over OUR health and the welfare of our nation.

It IS time for tar and feathers to bury Washington D.C!

As a research scientist for the state of california I am apalled by the EPA's decesion. What planet will we find water on after we foul ours?!?
Patti Rich
Research Scientist, CDPH

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