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1 Step Forward: EPA expands Envirofacts database

Monday, May 24, 2010

Last month the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they have added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities to their searchable database Envirofacts.

This is an important step toward transparency - letting us know which chemicals are made where.

How does the site work? Once I got the hang of how it works I was able to see the 13 sites where BPA is manufactured or imported. The site allows a user to search by chemical name, facility name or by geographic area from the state down to your own neighborhood.

For example, a search of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) facilities that deal with chemicals in Washington, DC reveals one facility with a downtown location, which I'll assume imports petroleum instead of making it.

EWG fully supports this step towards transparency This is an impressive step for transparency that we fully support and look forward to EPA adding more chemicals and facilities. Unfortunately, EPA can't tell us if the chemicals in this database are safe because of the failed TSCA. Nor will this database ever have all the chemicals on EPA's list because of the overly broad confidentiality protections. To make this important information public, we'll need the changes detailed in Senator Lautenberg's Safe Chemicals Act and Chairmen Waxman and Rush' Toxic Chemicals Safety Act.

Which we're working hard to pass.


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