American Chemical Safety Is at Risk

Nov 7th, 2017

Powered up with the Lautenberg Act, a central environmental law jointly approved by Democrats and Republicans in 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enthusiastically proceeded with the initiatives on the protection homes, kids and workplaces from hazardous chemicals.

Today the EPA is implementing provisions of the Congress aimed at promoting chemical safety at American homes. Environmental supporters and the industry give consent to the Act and agree that it will strongly promote the principle of safety for national consumers.  However, they are much concerned that the political interference may be ruinous to new anti-hazardous endeavours.

Under the interference, they mean the decision of President Trump to appoint Michael Dourson to the position of the head of the EPA’s office which is implementing a new law. If this nominee is voted for, the chemical safety will be compromised.    Dourson gained notoriety helping chemical producers cover up the effect of such dangerous substances as perfluorooctanoic acid, smoke exposure and the chemical used in Teflon.  Dourson is an owner of a non-governmental company, which loosely reviewed a number of chemicals that were seriously harmful to health. Some reviews done by Dourson were thousandfold weaker than that certified by the EPA and this list of the “safe” chemicals is astonishingly big. For example, his petcoke analysis stood in stark difference to the EPA’s report.

The EPA can restrict the use of the chemical causing serious impacts on human health only if the Lautenberg law is adopted. Dealing with tens of thousands household chemicals, the EPA has gained a vast experience in delivering the expertise on the safety of the chemicals. With the Lautenberg Act, it will be authorized to review every chemical entering the market. According to the agency, American homes still have some flame retardant chemicals that cause an adverse effect on brain development. In 2016, the EPA enlisted 10 chemicals for safety review assessing them as cancer-inducing substances. Among them are bromopropane, 1,4-Dioxane and trichloroethylene used in drinking water and cosmetics.

Dourson is among those who have served to greenwash of the above-mentioned chemicals. And this is the reason for the Americans to worry about his nomination for a toxics bureau head. The EPA strongly appeals to the Senate not to endorse his promotion.