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.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has informed Rep. Edward M. Markey (D-MA) that it is beginning a process that could end the use of the toxic plastics chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in infant formula packaging.Read More
People diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to toxic debris during the aftermath of the September 11 attacks should qualify for free treatment under the 9/11 victim compensation fund, federal health officials said last week.Read More
Even the asbestos industry has its defenders on Capitol Hill. Their support for the deadly carcinogen and the industries that use it was on display when the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2012” was introduced last month.Read More
Finding a nasty flame retardant in peanut butter and other food products brought EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder to tell E&E reporter Jeremy Jacobs: "We are contaminating our food chain with chemicals that are long-lasting in the environment and harmful to our health. We need to stop this."Read More
DeSmog Blog published a piece last week about a new study linking in utero exposure to the notorious bisphenol-A to breast cancer.Read More
When I spoke with EWG senior analyst Nneka Leiba about this year's sunscreen database she had mixed feelings.
"On one hand, we can recommend 25 percent of sunscreens on the market," she said. "On the other hand, we can recommend 25 percent of sunscreens on the market."
After five years of advocating more effective and safe sunscreens, we're excited to see some progress in the marketplace. Last year we could recommend 20 percent of sunscreens, and the year before only eight percent. Why is that?Read More
Late Thursday EWG found out the Food and Drug Administration was going to delay their sunscreen regulations by six months, at the request of the cosmetics industry. EWG replied with a statement that called out the agency's foot-dragging and highlighted the disservice to consumers. USA Today, Forbes, Mother Jones, Los Angles Times and E&E News all ran stories.Read More
Under pressure from two cosmetic industry groups, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to delay for six months implementation of pending regulations on how sunscreens are labeled and marketed.Read More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture began testing fruits and vegetables for pesticide residues in 1991 after the public became concerned about their potential risks to children.Read More
Nicholas Kristof a columnist for The New York Times, has written about the expanding evidence that hypospadias and other birth defects in people and wildlife that may be linked to the daily bombardment of endocrine disruptors in household goods, pesticides and other man-made products.Read More
Last month, the New York Times published a story about my efforts when I was pregnant to rid my home of toxic chemicals. The story featured a photo of my 18-month-old daughter and recounted how I threw out a large pile of cosmetics, cleaners and other products that my research, using EWG's online Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, found to contain dangerous substances. While at the time I thought I was doing the right thing for my family, when I read readers' comments, I felt as if I were on Nickelodeon, in one of those scenes when an unsuspecting person has an entire bucket of green slime dumped on her head.Read More
An independent scientific panel approved by the DuPont company as part of a class action lawsuit has linked an industrial chemical known as C-8 or PFOA to kidney and testicular cancer in humans.Read More
California state scientists have found that some nail polishes widely used in California salons are laced with high levels of three chemicals linked to birth defects, asthma and other health risks.Read More
Once again, the federal agency charged with protecting the public from tainted food has ignored a mountain of scientific research and decided to allow a toxic chemical to remain in food packaging. The federal Food and Drug Administration announced today it would not take immediate steps to bar Bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen and plastics component, in canned food and liquid infant formula containers.Read More
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today that 1 in 88 American children have an autism spectrum disorder, a 23 percent increase since the agency’s 2009 review.Read More
Under mounting pressure from consumers, scientists, advocacy groups and lawsuits, the Food and Drug Administration is about to decide whether to ban the ubiquitous industrial chemical BPA (bisphenol-A) from food packaging, including infant formula and canned food.Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned this week that more than 35 imported skin creams, antiseptic soaps and anti-aging lotions have recently been tied to mercury poisoning that in some instances sent users to the hospital.
The federal Food and Drug Administration, faced with a series of legal actions from environmental groups, is poised to decide whether to move toward barring the toxic chemical bisphenol-A from food packaging. The agency’s decision is expected by March 31.Read More
The maker of Brazilian Blowout -- one of numerous hair straighteners on the market containing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen -- is now required to provide health warnings on its product's packaging and website, revamp deceptive marketing practices and pay civil penalties under California consumer protection law. These measures are part of a settlement agreement between the Los Angeles-based company and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.Read More
A class action settlement requiring the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout, a popular chemical hair straightener to pay a small compensation to salon workers and customers who used its formaldehyde-laced products doesn’t go far enough to protect public health.Read More