EDF Health

FDA’s latest study reaffirms short-chain PFAS biopersist. Now it must act.

By Maricel Maffini, PhD, Consultant, and Tom Neltner, JD

Female rat nursing multiple pups

FDA study found biopersistent PFAS in female rats and their pups,

What Happened

In December 2023, FDA’s scientists published a new study showing that when pregnant rats ingest a form of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substance (PFAS) called 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) their bodies break it down into other PFAS that reach the fetuses and biopersist in the mother and the pups.

The study also showed that the body of a non-pregnant animal produces different breakdown products that also biopersist. This study is the latest evidence that the assumptions made about the safety of short-chain PFAS (chemicals with fewer than 8 carbons) have been wrong. Read More »

Posted in Adverse health effects, Chemical regulation, Emerging science, FDA, Health science, Industry influence, PFAS, Public health, Rules/Regulations, Vulnerable populations / Tagged , , , , , , , | Authors: / Comments are closed

EPA’s new chemical review process: A thought experiment

Two metal gears meshing. The one on the top says "process." The one on the bottom says "optimization."

Note: This is the last in our 6-part series of blogs on EPA’s proposed changes to its new chemical review process. See below under Go Deeper for links to the other blogs in the series.

In our previous blogs in this multipart series, we have focused on some of the major changes we believe EPA needs to make in its review process for new chemicals—and how EPA could propose regulations to make those reviews safer.

In this post, we want to walk you through why EPA must set rules that protect us from all the ways that a chemical is likely to be used. Read More »

Posted in Chemical regulation, Congress, Cumulative risk assessment, Risk assessment, Risk evaluation, Rules/Regulations, TSCA / Authors: / Comments are closed

Eliminating lead service lines yields huge benefits for reducing premature cardiovascular deaths

What’s New?

EPA has proposed improvements to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to reduce lead in drinking water. The proposed rule would require utilities to eliminate the nation’s roughly 9.2 million lead service lines (LSLs) at an estimated cost of $2.1 to $2.9 billion per year.1

The socioeconomic benefits from the rule vastly outweigh the cost and range from $17.3 to $34.8 billion per year2 – a whopping 8 to 12 times the annual cost of replacement. Read More »

Posted in Drinking water, Lead, Public health, Rules/Regulations / Tagged , , , , , , , | Authors: / Comments are closed

New updates to understanding packaging scorecard spur a safer & more sustainable foodservice industry

Posted in BPA, Food, Food contact materials, Food packaging, Markets and Retail / Tagged , , , | Authors: / Comments are closed

ICYMI: Secret GRAS determinations may outnumber those FDA reviews

Quote from FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD. "I want to throw in chemical safety as another really, really important area for the future—for humankind, really—and where science is evolving rapidly."

NOTE: This blog was originally published on our Deep Dives blog on April 13, 2023. It predates the recent reorganization efforts at FDA.

What Happened?

FDA estimates that, each year, food companies designate 82 new food chemicals as “GRAS” (Generally Recognized as Safe) for use in food. On average, FDA reviews only 64 of those new chemicals for safety. For the remaining 18 chemicals in FDA’s estimate, the companies making and marketing them for use in food or in the food-production process choose not to seek a voluntary review by FDA.

In comments to the agency, we said we think FDA’s estimate may be too low – and the number of new chemicals added to food that bypass FDA review may be as high as 130 new food chemicals a year (significantly higher than 18). This is based on searches of company marketing claims. In an 8-week period, we identified 10 chemicals claimed as GRAS without a submitted notice to FDA seeking voluntary review. (Please see our comments for a full explanation of our estimate.) Read More »

Posted in Broken GRAS, Chemical regulation, FDA, Food, GRAS, Health policy, Industry influence, Public health, Regulation / Tagged , , | Authors: , / Comments are closed

EPA’s TCE ban: A vital step for public health

We only have until December 15, 2023, to show EPA we support
a full and rapid ban of all uses of TCE.

Take Action: Tell EPA–Ban TCE Now

What Happened?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently taken a significant step in safeguarding public health by proposing new regulations under our nation’s primary chemicals law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would protect people from exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a highly toxic chemical that causes serious health risks. The proposed rule would ban the production, import, processing, and distribution in commerce for all uses of TCE.

Yet, despite the known dangers of TCE and the undeniable scientific evidence supporting the need for this action, the chemical industry is trying to undermine this critical regulation by incorrectly claiming the proposed rule is “inconsistent with the science.” Read More »

Posted in Adverse health effects, Chemical exposure, Chemical regulation, Developmental toxicity, Health hazards, Industry influence, Neurotoxicity, Public health, Reproductive toxicity, Rules/Regulations, TSCA / Tagged , , | Authors: / Read 1 Response