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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

“You Are a Guinea Pig”




Toxic Substances: EPA Has Increased Efforts to Assess and Control Chemicals but Could Strengthen Its Approach

This entry was posted on April 29, 2013, in Human HealthRegulating Risks and tagged. Bookmark the permalink.Leave a comment

US Government Accountability Office

Since 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made progress implementing its new approach to managing toxic chemicals under its existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authority; particularly by increasing efforts to obtain chemical toxicity and exposure data and initiating chemical risk assessments..The results of EPA’s data collection activities, in most cases, have yet to be realized, and it may take several years before EPA obtains much of the data it is seeking. Also, EPA has not pursued some opportunities to obtain chemical data that companies submit to foreign governments or to obtain data from chemical processors that prepare chemical substances after their manufacture for distribution in commerce–some of which could help support the agency’s risk assessment activities.  Of the 83 chemicals EPA has prioritized for risk assessment, it initiated 7 assessments in 2012 and plans to start 18 additional assessments in 2013 and 2014. However, it may take several years to complete these initial risk assessments and, at the agency’s current pace, over a decade to complete all 83, especially as EPA does not have the toxicity and exposure data needed for 58 of the 83 chemicals prioritized for risk assessment. In addition to its risk assessment activity, EPA has initiated other actions–such as increasing review of certain new uses of chemicals–that may discourage the use of these chemicals, but it is too early to tell whether these actions will reduce chemical risks.

It is unclear whether EPA’s new approach to managing chemicals within its existing TSCA authorities will position the agency to achieve its goal of ensuring the safety of chemicals…EPA has not clearly articulated how it will address challenges associated with obtaining toxicity and exposure data needed for risk assessments and placing limits on or banning chemicals under existing TSCA authorities. In addition, EPA’s strategy does not describe the resources needed to execute its new approach. For example, EPA’s strategy does not identify roles and responsibilities of key staff or offices or identify staffing levels or costs associated with conducting the activities under its new approach. Without a plan that incorporates leading strategic planning practices, EPA cannot be assured that its new approach to managing chemicals, as described in its Existing Chemicals Program Strategy, will provide a framework to effectively guide its effort. Consequently, EPA could be investing valuable resources, time, and effort without being certain that its efforts will bring the agency closer to achieving its goal of ensuring the safety of chemicals

Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

We all are!

Three articles that crossed my path today illustrate the challenges we face (trying to stay healthy) while alive. Of course there are more issues, (like fracking, GMOs and processed food) but these three are more than enough to show us that “lifestyle choices” are not enough to keep us healthy.

This article  by David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz is a must read!

You Are a Guinea Pig

How Americans Became Exposed to Biohazards in the Greatest Uncontrolled Experiment Ever Launched

“The culprit behind this silent killer is lead.  And vinyl.  And formaldehyde.  And asbestos.  And Bisphenol A.  And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised “better living through chemistry,” but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment.”

“The groups that…

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May 2, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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