formaldehyde


Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Administrator Wheeler is Hiding the Truth About Formaldehyde

, Lead science and policy analyst

The Union of Concerned Scientists along with the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Protection Network asked EPA’s Scientific Integrity office to investigate what seems to be political interference that occurred at the EPA in its recent suspension of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) formaldehyde risk assessment. In his responses to senators’ questions about the assessment earlier this year, Wheeler claimed that “Formaldehyde was not identified as a top priority.” But, in documents obtained through FOIA request, the Union of Concerned Scientists found evidence that EPA staff was not only interested in the formaldehyde risk assessment, but as of 2017 the air office had a “strong interest in the review and are anxious to see it completed.” Read more >

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Photo: Roy Luck/Flickr

EPA Needs to Trust Its Own Scientists and Protect Us from Ethylene Oxide

, Lead science and policy analyst

The EPA is holding a public hearing related to its proposed rule on facilities producing hydrochloric acid (HCl). In addition to HCl, many of these sites emit ethylene oxide, a flammable colorless gas that EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) determined was carcinogenic to humans back in 2016. According to the proposed rule, communities near these facilities experience a lifetime cancer risk of 600-in-1-million, which is six times EPA’s unsafe level. What is the agency doing to protect people from this risk? There is no regulatory action proposed in the rulemaking—instead, the agency is asking for comment on the use of the IRIS ethylene oxide risk value for “regulatory purposes,” calling into question the work of its own scientists in the IRIS program. Read more >

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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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Signed, Sealed, Delayed? The New Fate of the Added Sugar Rule and Other Safeguards

, Lead science and policy analyst

The FDA announced this week that it “intends to extend compliance dates” for the nutrition facts label final rules, which will include the separate line for added sugars. We celebrated the finalization of this rule last May as science-based advocacy prevailing to give consumers key information on the foods they consume. While the FDA has not yet announced exactly how long that extension will push back implementation, the food industry has asked HHS Secretary Tom Price to delay the rule’s enforcement three years, until May 2021. Read more >

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American Chemistry Council: Obstructing Formaldehyde Safeguards Then and Now

, Lead science and policy analyst

The chemical industry has once again staved off federal action that would protect public health, as the EPA announced last week that it would be delaying compliance dates for the long-awaited formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products—standards that were finalized in December 2016. This is the latest move brought to you by an industry with a long history of attacking science and an administration willing to do its bidding. Read more >

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