Chemical Safety


Under Our Noses: PFAS Contamination in Southern Colorado

Rev. Ryan K. Nelson, , UCS

I was born an only child in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1979. My father, who is a retired military officer, moved us from coast-to-coast and across the country until we finally returned home in 1989. By the time I was 20, I had traveled and seen parts of the Western world that continue to enrich my life. However, Colorado has always held me safe, secure, and nestled in the Rocky Mountains as I continued to mature into adulthood. The quiet solitude the outdoors here provided me just as much ecological insight as scuba diving in the Grand Caymans or walking along the coasts of Hawaii. Now I’ve seen the delicate balance of nature in Colorado disrupted by devastating wildfires and operations from fracking plus other continued operations of big oil and gas.   Read more >

Photo: FEMA
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Photo: US Air Force

EPA Chemical Office Nominee Alexandra Dunn Must Prioritize Science and Public Health

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Behind the headlines of the Trump administration’s attacks on science is a quiet army of government scientists continuing to do their jobs protecting the nation’s public health, safety, and the environment. This week, we have the opportunity to ensure a new EPA leader can carry out that mission. On Thursday, the Senate is holding a hearing on the nomination of Alexandra Dunn as Assistant Administrator to run the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the EPA office charged with protecting us from toxic chemicals and pesticides. Here’s what Senators should demand and expect her to prioritize at the EPA:

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Photo: US Air Force
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PFAS Contamination on Military Bases Is A Scary Reality—And For Me, It’s Personal

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Across the country, families are exposed to dangerous chemicals in their water—and the families most at risk are those living on or near military bases. This threat concerns me not just as a researcher, but as the child of a military family. Read more >

Charise Johnson
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Photo: LadyDragonflyCC/Flickr

The EPA’s Proposed Chemical Disaster Rule is a Disaster in the Making

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

UCS released a white paper today – The Impact of Chemical Facilities on Environmental Justice Communities: Review of Selected Communities Affected by Chemical Facility Incidents – that addresses the EPA’s proposed rule to reverse improvements to the Risk Management Program (RMP), a regulatory mechanism intended to ensure the safety and security of over 12,000 facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals nationwide, as made under the Obama administration and finalized in January 2017. Specifically, it highlights the potential health impacts of past catastrophic incidents at chemical facilities on nearby communities. Read more >

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The public water supply in Hyannis, Massachusetts, one of the communities currently dealing PFAS contamination. Photo: A. Fox. Courtesy of STEEP

Federal Health Study on Drinking Water Contaminants Calls into Question Safety of Nation’s Drinking Water Supply

Dr. Laurel Schaider, , UCS

On a late June evening in a high school auditorium in Exeter, NH, dozens of people stepped up to the microphone to tell EPA about contaminated drinking water in their communities. They described unexplained illnesses in their families, expressed frustration about inadequate government response, and shared their guilt and fear about their children’s exposures to toxics and the possible long-term effects. “Years before becoming pregnant, I was educating people on how to eliminate environmental toxics from their personal care products and food. That’s why this was so devastating,” said Alayna Davis, co-founder of a local community group called Testing for Pease. “I could not prevent this water from contaminating my son’s body.”  Read more >

Courtesy of STEEP, photo by A. Fox.
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