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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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tomato giant Ag-Mart couldn't be in bigger trouble in North Carolina for alleged pesticide violations that may have caused birth defects in three field workers' children, but the state ag department says it's powerless to ensure that the company shapes up.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

EWG commends the professional staff and leadership at EPA for forging a stewardship agreement with major companies that will, if properly implemented, dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, pollution associated with the chemical known as PFOA, and related chemicals that break down to become PFOA and similar substances. These toxic chemicals pose numerous health risks, are extraordinarily persistent in the environment, and have already found their way into the blood of people worldwide, including most Americans.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Friday, January 6, 2006

Maybe President Bush still had a New Year's hangover when he signed this particular appropriations bill into law on January 3rd. The bill funding the Health and Human Services Agency contained a tiny rider (compliments of Sen. Durbin of Ill.) that means agencies like the FDA, NIH, and CDC may actually get back to using science to protect public health.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, November 28, 2005
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, November 7, 2005

The University of Montana has put out its annual Kids Count report for 2005, addressing child mortality, uninsurance rates, economic status and, for the first time, health care costs from environmental pollutants. Montana spends an estimated $400 million annually for kids with lead poisoning, asthma, cancer, birth defects and other disorders.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Residents near DuPont's W.Va. Washington Works plant, where the Teflon chemical PFOA is produced, are speaking out against a landfill where the company dumped the toxic chemical.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, October 21, 2005

 

The New York Times gets it wrong in an otherwise nice article about organic labeling of health and beauty products. Synthetic ingredients used in cosmetics are generally considered safe. The Food and Drug Administration requires that cosmetics makers make sure that their products are safe.
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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

An FDA panel is examining possible health concerns associated with antibacterial soaps, wipes and other household products. The market is booming for these germ-killers, but home use might be creating strains resistant to both antibacterials and antibiotics. This is of particular concern to families with children, as it presents the double-edged sword of exposing children to surviving super-germs, or, on the other hand, overprotecting them in a squeaky-clean environment that prevents them from building immunity, which can lead to asthma or allergies later in life.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Using a line straight from the chemical industry's playbook, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have established the nation's first state biomonitoring program last weekend.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

W.R. Grace strikes again, the Dallas Morning News reports, with news that up to 450 employees of the company's West Dallas plant and their families are at risk from asbestos-related illnesses.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, October 3, 2005

Ag-Mart Produce, the giant Florida tomato grower, is eliminating the use of some pesticides linked to birth defects following a lawsuit involving three seriously deformed babies born to field workers.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Washington State Toxics Coalition and the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition have started body burden testing on 10 people in the Puget Sound area, looking for pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, fire retardants, phthalates and other toxics in their subjects' bodies.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wal-Mart's 153 California stores are in danger of an audit from the state Department of Pesticide Regulation for selling home and lawn pesticides not approved for use in the state.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More and more groups are examining the Senate asbestos bill called FAIR and finding it doesn’t keep its promises – to anyone. Environmental Working Group’s research has shown that the Senate’s answer to the asbestos epidemic is inadequate for the millions who will suffer from exposure to this toxic mineral.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, September 16, 2005

Toxic PCBs have been found at 140 times the level that requires cleanup at a South Seattle site that EPA declared clean more than five years ago. Fish in the nearby Duwamish River are the most PCB-laden in the state, and high levels have been found in salmon and killer whales in the Puget Sound.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A report the GAO released last week faults EPA for not enforcing laws that prevent companies from ducking environmental cleanup costs by filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Six West Viriginia and Ohio lawyers received the 2005 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation July 26 for their work on behalf of residents drinking Teflon-contaminated water from DuPont's nearby Washington Works plant. DuPont was sued for dumping the persistent Teflon chemical into community water supplies, although the company has known of its toxicity and potential to cause human health effects for decades.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In the past week, activists have pressed Teflon maker DuPont to clean up its act on two fronts. Environmental groups demanded that the company monitor groundwater around its local plant, the only one in the US that makes this indestructible, cancer-causing chemical, and the steeworkers' union urged carpet and clothing retailers and fast food companies to warn consumers that their products may be coated with chemicals that break down into DuPont's toxic Teflon chemical.

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EnviroBlog
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