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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Toxic Chemical Reform

  • The Obama administration made a major public commitment to reform of the nation's outdated toxics chemicals law (TASCA).
  • At historic conference to explore fundamental changes to U.S. chemical policy, hosted by EWG on Oct. 6, Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, pledged to work for "comprehensive reform" with "special consideration for exposures and effects on groups with higher vulnerabilities - particularly children." Energy Policy Banning BPA
    • Major baby bottle manufacturers switched to non-BPA plastic. Lawmakers in Minnesota, Connecticut, Suffolk County, NY, and Chicago banned BPA in food packaging for babies and young children. The California Assembly voted 35 to 31 for a similar ban, falling just short of 41 votes needed for passage. Final action was postponed to 2010.
    Highlighting Risks from Cell Phone Radiation EWG's first-ever guide to cell phone radiation, released September 9, 2009, went viral through the blogosphere in a matter of hours, logging over 1.5 million visitors (in just September) and setting new EWG records for sign-ups and commentary. Pushing for More Effective Sunscreens
    • EWG's three-year campaign for more effective sunscreens was affirmed by 70 percent of sunscreens offered for the 2009 beach season that contained strong UVA filters, compared to just 29 percent in 2008. EWG 's 2009 sunscreen guide contained new sections on moisturizers and lipbalms.
    Banning Phthalates
    • A federal ban went into effect February 10, 2009, for phthalates, a toxic plasticizer, in children's toys and childcare items.
    Asking FDA to Ban DECA in Food Pallets EWG obtained a document indicating that the federal Food and Drug Administration scientists believed Deca, a neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen used as a fire retardant, could leach from plastic pallets onto produce. EWG pressed FDA to call an immediate halt to food industry use of pallets impregnated with Deca,. Meanwhile, legislators in 13 states proposed Deca bans. The chemical is already restricted in Maine and Washington state. Fighting for New York's water supply.
    • On September 10 and December 12, 2009. senior mining analyst Dusty Horwitt testified before the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee on proposed natural gas drilling in the New York City watershed.
    • Natural gas companies want to use a process called hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting water laced with toxic chemicals into the ground. The technique threatens environmental health and the safety of public drinking water, not to mention New York's bakers, who attribute their unsurpassed pizza and bagels to the purity of New York City water. EWG agreed with committee chairman James Gennaro that there should be no gas drilling allowed in the city's watershed.
    Saving the Grand Canyon Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reversed the Bush administration decision and imposed a two-year moratorium on new mining claims on 1 million acres around Grand Canyon National Park.

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