Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.
I’ve blogged here frequently about EPA’s efforts over the past couple of years to make more chemical information available to the public, especially health and safety information. A key part of this, believe it or not, is simply making sure that when EPA shares a health study with the public – as required by law – you get to know the identity of the chemical that is the subject of that study.
EPA’s initial steps (see below) were met with a little grumbling on the part of the chemical industry, but not a whole lot. After all, the industry says it wants the public to have more information about chemicals. At #7 on the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) top 10 principles for TSCA reform is: “Companies and EPA should work together to enhance public access to chemical health and safety information.”
Times, apparently, have changed. In recent weeks, ACC has launched a broadside attack on the EPA’s efforts to compel its member companies ever to name a chemical when submitting health and safety information to EPA. My evidence? A 36-page White Paper delivered by ACC to the office of the regulatory czar at the Office of Management and Budget, at a meeting held there on January 20. The ACC document is a wonder of tortured logic, obfuscation and selective renditions of the history of TSCA.
Today, a response was mounted. EDF and Earthjustice staff, as well as representatives of health-affected individuals, environmental justice communities and workers, held their own meeting with OMB officials. And we delivered our own letter to OMB that thoroughly rebuts ACC’s White Paper. It also points out that, way back in 1976, the drafters of TSCA actually wanted you to have access to health and safety information on chemicals – and they darn well didn’t expect you to have to guess at the identity of those chemicals. Read More