Chemical Policy (TSCA)
There is widespread agreement that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principle federal statute governing the use and safety of the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to in our everyday lives, is broken and needs to be reformed.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given responsibility but little authority to enforce TSCA. Enacted in 1976, this current law was broken from the start, grandfathering thousands of chemicals already on the market. This law is so broken and so weak that the EPA could not even ban asbestos, a cancer-causing substance that is still in use and killing thousands of Americans each year.
To date, the EPA has only reviewed a few hundred chemicals for safety. There are nearly 85,000 chemicals currently approved for use that the federal government and consumers know little to nothing about.
We need real toxic chemical reform that ensures protection of public health, especially to our vulnerable populations, and the environment from the hazards these chemicals pose.
EWG's Renee Sharp testifies to the California state Senate about the need to remove BPA and lead from children's products.Read More
In a welcome first step toward fundamental reforms to the way toxic chemicals are reviewed and then used in consumer products, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held its first oversight hearing this Congress looking into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – the nation’s outdated, industry-friendly law that allows virtually any chemical to be used in commerce without first testing for safety.Read More
Three weeks after the launch of a major Congressional investigation into conflicts of interest compromising EPA expert review panels and the revelation that EPA, at the request of the chemical industry, had fired a career public health professional as chair of an important chemical safety review panel, EPA convened yet another panel with members linked to polluting industries.Read More
The powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee today launched a landmark investigation into the chemical industry lobby group, The American Chemistry Council (ACC). In a letter to ACC President Jack Gerard, Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak – the committee chair and its investigations chair – demanded that the industry come clean about the degree to which it has been able to corrupt science at the Environmental Protection Agency.Read More
A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. A companion study published just one day earlier revealed that this chemical is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin.Read More
EWG urges the California Air Resources Board to reverse a proposal that would weaken safety and anti-smog standards for cleaning products, cosmetics and other household products.Read More
Two powerful chairmen of the House committee that oversees the EPA are launching an investigation into the chemical industry’s undue influence on Agency panels that recommend critical public health safeguards for chemical pollutants. The inquiry stems from documents released recently by EWG showing that the EPA sacked a respected public health scientist from the Maine Centers for Disease Control as a panel chair, at the request of the chemical industry lobby group the American Chemistry Council.Read More
At the request of a chemical industry lobbyist, the Environmental Protection Agency removed the chair of an expert peer review panel charged with setting safe exposure levels for a toxic fire retardant that contaminates human blood and breast milk, according to documents obtained by EWG.Read More
Under pressure from chemical industry lobbyists, the Bush Administration fired the chair of an expert science panel at the Environmental Protection Agency that was evaluating the safety of a neurotoxic fire retardant, according to documents obtained by EWG. EPA is to issue by March 28th a reassessment of the human health risks from Deca, an industrial fire retardant used in electronics and other consumer products, and widely found in Americans’ blood and breast milk.Read More
EWG urged the California Air Resources Board to set strict, health-based standards for cleaning products, cosmetics and other consumer goods.Read More
Throughout the spring and summer of 2002, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted a series of community meetings on the hazards of drinking tap water contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, or C8) from DuPont’s manufacturing operations in Washington, West Virginia. Our analysis of the content of the materials presented by the DEP at these meetings finds them to be in conflict with positions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), with studies in peer–reviewed scientific literature, and with industry–sponsored toxicity studies.
What will it take to get presidential candidates to commit to stopping human-caused global warming?Read More
After the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that contractor Sciences International (SI) worked for companies who made chemicals under review by the agency, NIH let the company conduct its own internal investigation into conflicts of interest.Read More
Battery makers and lead smelters have been lobbying the Bush administration to roll back standards that keep lead out of gasoline and their efforts may prove successful for industry, that is. According to a statement released by the EPA earlier this week, the agency is considering dropping the lead limits in light of " the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant.Read More
The American Journal of Industrial Medicine reports this month on undisclosed conflicts of interest in cancer research: Some consulting firms employ university researchers for industry work thereby disguising industry links in the income of large departments. If the industry affiliation is concealed by the scientist, biases from conflicting interests in risk assessments cannot be evaluated and dealt with properly. Furthermore, there is reason to suspect that editors and journal staff may suppress publication of scientific results that are adverse to industry owing to internal conflict of interest between editorial integrity and business needs.Read More