EDF Health

Selected tag(s): Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

Voters say “I am Not a Guinea Pig”: New poll shows strong, deep, bipartisan support for comprehensive chemical safety overhaul

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

Today, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition released the results of a poll conducted by the well-respected Mellman Group in key swing districts around the country.  It shows that Americans of all stripes and political persuasions overwhelmingly support a major overhaul of our nation’s chemical safety law.

A whopping 84% of likely voters say that “tightening controls” on chemicals is important, with 50% calling it “very important.”  That response includes 75% of Republicans and 82% of Independents.  When provided with a brief description of the reform proposals recently introduced into Congress, seven in 10 likely voters indicated they favor the legislation.

But here are the real kickers:  When given more detail about its specific provisions, support for the legislation went up significantly, from 71% to 82%.  And the largest increases in support were seen among Republicans (a 25% increase) and those in a household dependent on the chemical industry (22% increase).  Read More »

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States unite to support TSCA overhaul; chemical industry is increasingly odd one out

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

Yesterday, at its annual meeting, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Congress to enact strong and comprehensive reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

ECOS is comprised of the heads of the environmental agencies in the U.S. states and territories.  Its new resolution includes major elements of reform that EDF and the other health and environmental members of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families have been calling for.  Read More »

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Should we continue to take the chemical industry at its word when it insists it’s still for TSCA reform?

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

I’m one of those throwbacks that loves to read a hard copy of a newspaper in the morning.  One thing the hard copies provide that reading online doesn’t is the ability to take in those full-page paid ads that Corporate America runs on a virtually daily basis.

Lately, not surprisingly, ads from “the people of America’s oil and natural gas industry” – aka the American Petroleum Institute (API) – are appearing frequently in the New York Times and Washington Post.  In one recent ad, API asserts:  “Above all else, the people of America’s oil and natural gas industry are committed to safe operations.”  That one is a little hard to swallow, coming as it does not only right on the heels of the largest environmental disaster in American history, but after years of staunch opposition to stronger safety regulation.  It seems API is now all for safety, after years of being against it.

This got me thinking about the chemical industry.  The industry’s main trade association, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), now says it’s all for “modernizing” TSCA, after years of opposing any such effort.  Why am I getting suspicious that there may be no there there?  Read More »

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More than weather heating up in DC: Rush-Waxman House bill puts TSCA reform back on front burner

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

We’ve just moved another step closer to protecting Americans and our environment from dangerous chemicals.

The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 (H.R. 5820) has been formally introduced by Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA).  The legislation would implement a top-to-bottom overhaul of the outmoded and ineffectual 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Read More »

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Katrina chronicles meet the BP oil disaster: Formaldehyde-laced trailers are back in the Gulf

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

In another truly bizarre collision between recent Gulf coast disasters (on top of Hurricane Alex), Ian Urbina of the New York Times reports on the front page today that those toxic trailers – sold at auction by FEMA back in March – have been reincarnated once again, this time as housing for Gulf cleanup workers.

I had blogged about the sale at the time, questioning the viability of FEMA’s assurance that “wholesale buyers from the auction must sign contracts attesting that trailers will not be used, sold or advertised as housing, and that trailers will carry a sticker saying, ‘Not to be used for housing’.”  In that post, I had cynically asked:  “Think that’s likely to be enough?”

With good reason, it turns out.  Read More »

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A glimmer of good news flowing from the Gulf’s other recent disaster

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

I’ve been blogging for some weeks now about how we may be compounding the problems of the BP oil disaster through our massive use of inadequately tested and ineffective dispersants.  There’s an eerie echo in these events to the compounding effects of decisions made in the wake of the Gulf region’s last major disaster, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina: specifically, the decision to house victims forced out of their homes in trailers made from imported plywood that exposed them to toxic levels of formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen.

In what I choose to regard as a silver lining arising from this earlier debacle, the U.S. Congress is finally – nearly five years later – inching toward passing legislation that seeks to prevent a repeat of that episode, by putting limits on how much formaldehyde can be emitted from imported and domestically manufactured pressed wood products.  Read More »

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