Monthly Archives: March 2011

Memo to ACC et al.: What’s said in Maryland doesn’t stay in Maryland

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

It’s only a little more than 30 miles from Washington, DC to Annapolis, the Capitol of the State of Maryland.  But to judge from testimony given there on February 24 and March 1 by representatives of the chemical, formulated products and food industries, you’d think Annapolis existed in a parallel universe, with only a passing resemblance to the one in DC.

The occasions were hearings on companion bills introduced into the Maryland State Senate, SB 637, and the State House of Delegates, HB 759, titled the “Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland – Toxic Chemical Identification and Reduction.”

Actually, the industry associations’ testimonies suggest either of two alternative universes.  In one of them, Maryland should do nothing to address dangerous chemical exposures because the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and other related laws are working quite well, thank you very much.  Residing in this parallel universe are the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Cleaning Institute (ACI, until recently the more accurately named Soap and Detergent Association), the Maryland Industrial Technology Alliance and the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA).

In the other parallel universe, Maryland should do nothing to address dangerous chemical exposures because it will only get in the way of TSCA reform, which is just around the corner.  Inhabiting this alternative universe are the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Can Manufacturers Institute, and yes – as another indication that it just can’t quite make up its mind about TSCA reform – once again, the American Chemistry Council.  Read More »

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Chemical safety evaluation: EPA is doing the “Robot” 21st century style

Jennifer McPartland, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

Parts in this series:      Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

Remember that then-new dance move from the 20th century?  Now don’t get too excited, EPA is not adding a dance category to its new sustainability research program.

No, the ‘Robot’ in my title refers to some of the impressive machines involved in EPA’s efforts to develop and apply new automated approaches to chemical toxicity testing.  These approaches integrate modern insights being gleaned from the biological sciences with advances in computation.  A new term has even been coined for all this:  Computational toxicology.

Though perhaps less of a draw than a dance-off featuring EPA staff, EPA’s exploration of new ways to better assess and address the safety of the tens of thousands of chemicals in use today is pretty exciting.    Read More »

Posted in Emerging testing methods, Health science / Tagged , , | Read 2 Responses