EDF Health

Selected tag(s): CDC

New study demands far more than a pregnant pause: Expectant women carry dozens of toxic chemicals in their bodies

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

A long-awaited study documenting the presence of multiple toxic chemicals in the bodies of pregnant women was published today in Environmental Health Perspectives.  The study, conducted by researchers at Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed the most recent comprehensive biomonitoring data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of its national human biomonitoring program.

The new study found widespread exposure of pregnant women to a large fraction of the chemicals for which biomonitoring is conducted, including chemicals that are currently in widespread use, such as brominated flame retardants (known as PBDEs) used in furniture foam and plastics, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) used in everything from packaging to textiles, and a pervasive environmental contaminant used in rocket fuel (perchlorate).

In particular the study noted:  “Certain PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PFCs, phenols, PBDEs, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perchlorate were detected in 99 to 100% of pregnant women.” (emphasis added)  Read More »

Posted in Emerging Science, Health Science, perchlorate / Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Read 1 Response

Why is OMB blocking EPA from using even its limited authority under TSCA?

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

On May 12 of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for its review, which is supposed to be completed within 90 days.  The proposed rule is not considered a major rule, is classified as “not economically significant,” imposes no unfunded mandates and is unequivocally allowed under EPA’s statutory authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The proposed rule would establish a so-called “chemicals of concern” list and populate it with one chemical and two chemical categories.  All of these chemicals are well-studied, already widely identified to be chemicals of significant concern and subject to numerous regulations by governmental bodies both in the U.S. and abroad.

Yet, as of today – more than seven months after receiving the draft of the proposed rule from EPA – OMB has not allowed EPA to release it for public notice and comment.

In 1976, when passing TSCA, Congress gave EPA the express authority to establish and populate a “chemicals of concern” list.  There’s simply no excuse for OMB’s delay.  Read More »

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

Are we ready to get sensible about triclosan use?

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

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is acknowledging that new research raises “valid concerns” about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antimicrobial chemical that can be found in dozens of consumer products as diverse as soaps, personal care products, cutting boards, plastic sandals and even bath towels.

Originally developed as a surgical scrub for use by doctors and nurses, the burgeoning uses of this pesticidal chemical have hugely expanded human and environmental exposures.  With little evidence of any actual public health benefits from such uses, FDA along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) should move quickly to limit triclosan use.  Only those uses that have a demonstrable public health benefit, when weighed against potential health and environmental risks, should be allowed. Read More »

Posted in Emerging Science, Health Science / Also tagged , , , | Read 3 Responses

Over-Exposed: Why relying on exposure to prioritize chemicals is dangerous

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

When the chemical industry talks about prioritization – a central question in the debate over TSCA reform – more often than not it quickly reduces the question down to the argument that we should focus only on those chemicals, however hazardous or untested they may be, to which we know people are exposed.  In a perfect world, that might suffice.  But, as this post will explore, the world of exposure assessment is anything but perfect.  Read More »

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