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EWG Report: Trump’s Pick to Protect Americans from Toxic Substances is Longtime Shill for Chemical Companies

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(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017

WASHINGTON A new EWG investigation underscores just how unfit Michael Dourson, President Trump’s nominee for a top Environmental Protection Agency position, is for the job of safeguarding children and other Americans from toxic chemicals.

In July, Trump nominated Dourson to lead the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, which oversees the agency’s work on chemicals and pesticides. Since 1995, Dourson has run a science-for-hire consulting firm called Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, or TERA, which gets 30 to 40 percent of its funding to produce studies for the chemical industry that usually argue for weaker safety standards.

Dourson's firm has been paid by chemical and pesticide companies – like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and Koch Industries – to greenwash safety assessments of chemicals, including the Teflon compound PFOA, the industrial solvent 1,4-dioxane and the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

In his long career as an apologist for the chemical industry, Dourson has consistently fought to weaken proposals to protect American families from dangerous chemicals, including compounds linked to cancer, brain damage and reproductive harm.

“If Mike Dourson is confirmed, the environmental health of every child in the country will be tossed aside, as he will almost certainly continue his work from inside EPA to greenwash chemicals and pesticides to protect the profits of the companies that make them,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Handing the keys to EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention to Dourson, who has spent a career opposing both, makes about as much sense as letting the CEO of Philip Morris run the American Lung Association.”

“Here’s a novel idea,” said Cook, “why doesn’t President Trump pick people for these important public health protection positions that actually care about protecting human health and the environment? Last I checked, the EPA's mission is to help reduce Americans’ exposure to industrial pollution, not increase the pollution burden that is contributing to serious, life-threatening diseases like cancer.” 

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