EDF Health

Selected tag(s): carbon nanotubes

State-level nano regulation: Yes, indeed, the industry "should have seen it coming" – it caused it!

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

I just read an interesting column by John DiLoreto, CEO of NanoReg, that appears online at Nanotechnology Now.  It's titled "We Should Have Seen It Coming: States Regulating Nanotechnology."  It nicely describes the important role states play in advancing environmental policy and regulation – especially when the feds are asleep at the wheel.  And it also gives a neat rundown of the various state actions aimed at nanomaterials that are underway.

But, search as I might, I couldn't find a single acknowledgment in Mr. DiLoreto's latest column – or in his earlier related column titled "What Drives the Regulation of Nanomaterials?" – of the role the nanotechnology industry itself played in bringing all of this on itself.

That's quite an omission, in my view, given that the industry's actions (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) played a central role in getting us to where we are (or, more accurately, aren't) today on nanotechnology oversight.  That includes driving states to feel they had to step in to fill the federal void.   Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, Regulation, States / Also tagged , , , , | Read 2 Responses

Raising the bar for chemical safety will spur, not stifle, innovation

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

An emerging chemical industry talking point in TSCA reform is the claim that imposing new requirements on new chemicals will somehow stifle innovation.  The milder manifestation of this perspective emanates from those who oppose requiring a safety determination for new chemicals unless they raise major red flags in an initial review.

But some in the industry go further, arguing that even requiring safety data for new chemicals would put the big chill on development of new chemicals.

I beg to differ with both arguments.  This post will make the opposite case, and will also argue that true innovation embraces rather than shuns safety, and demands the information needed to demonstrate it. Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Regulation, TSCA Reform / Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Read 5 Responses

Study raises big questions about worker protection in nanotech labs

Cal Baier-AndersonCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

When it comes to chemical exposures, workers are on the front line.  Workers are usually the most likely to be exposed to harmful levels of chemicals, because they are the ones producing, processing, handling, sampling and measuring, transferring and transporting chemicals in larger and more concentrated quantities.

Throughout history, workers have been the canaries in the coal mines; the first to exhibit the health effects of hazardous chemical exposures, from scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps, to mesothelioma in shipyard and construction workers to liver cancer in vinyl chloride workers.

For these reasons, EDF has argued that workers handling or otherwise likely to be exposed to nanomaterials must be protected from harm (see our earlier posts here, here and here).  Now, a new government study published in the respected journal Environmental Health Perspectives reveals that certain comfortable assumptions about nanomaterial laboratory safety may be downright wrong. Read More »

Posted in Health Science, Nanotechnology / Also tagged , , | Comments are closed

The nanotube SNURs: Nano step forward, nano step back

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In June, EPA published a Federal Register notice that included Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for two carbon nanotubes (as well as 21 other chemicals).  That notice certainly got the attention of lawyers in town (see here, here and here).  The nanotube SNURs would require anyone planning to produce or process either of the two substances to notify EPA if the person intended not to comply with the (rather limited) risk management conditions specified by EPA.  Well, as reported yesterday by Sara Goodman of E&E News, EPA is now withdrawing the SNURs, at least temporarily.

Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, Regulation / Also tagged , , , | Read 3 Responses

Hiding a toxic nanomaterial's identity: TSCA's disappearing act

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In earlier posts (here and here), I discussed a notice EPA had received in July of 2008 from BASF reporting toxic effects at very low doses of a carbon nanotube (CNT) observed in a 90-day rat inhalation study.  In that notice, BASF had declared the specific identity of its CNT to be confidential business information, hence denying that information to the public.  Now, in a setting more to its liking, it appears the company has decided to reveal the identity after all. Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, Regulation / Also tagged , , , , | Read 1 Response

EPA's New Chemicals Program: TSCA dealt EPA a very poor hand

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

[The first post in this series can be found here.]

Some in the chemical industry point to EPA's New Chemicals Program as a robust program, one that could serve as a model for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Most recently, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) did so in its testimony at a recent House of Representatives subcommittee's TSCA oversight hearing.  So just how robust is EPA's program on new chemicals?  Read More »

Posted in EPA, Health Policy, Regulation / Also tagged , , | Comments are closed