Chemicals Policy

Category archives for Chemicals Policy

Obama calls out asbestos at TSCA signing ceremony

President Obama called out asbestos as the key example of why the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is needed. He signed it into law today.

The road toward eliminating the threat of asbestos has been long, slow-moving, incredibly frustrating and littered with significant hurdles. Thankfully, advocates like Linda Reinstein, who lost her husband to asbestos-related disease in 2003, refuse to get discouraged.

Shrugging shoulders, holding noses on passage of TSCA reform bill

Many environmental, health and consumer groups are shrugging their shoulders about the TSCA reform bill headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature. Their reaction—the silence—is striking.

Occupational Health News Roundup

CDC investigates diacetyl exposure in coffee production facilities; Supreme Court rules in favor of workers’ First Amendment rights; Latino workers still face the greatest fatality risks at work; and a job-seeking experiment finds women bear the brunt of age discrimination in the job market.

Lead isn’t the only toxin threatening the safety of community drinking water. A recent study on water located downstream from a West Virginia fracking disposal site uncovered levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals high enough to adversely impact the aquatic animals living there. And that means human health could be at risk too.

Making the case for safer paint strippers

A painter named Jason, who nearly died from using a methylene chloride-based paint stripper, teams up with the California Department of Public Health to make the case for using safer alternatives.

During the years that community health researcher Jill Johnston lived and worked in San Antonio, Texas was experiencing an explosion of fracking. She and the community partners she worked with on environmental health issues had a strong hunch that most of the fracking wastewater wells were being located near communities of color. So, they decided to dig a little deeper and quantify the pattern.

In the U.S., just a tiny fraction of the chemicals used in consumer products have been tested for human health effects. And with the current climate in Congress, it feels unlikely that we’ll see any true reform of the nation’s terribly outdated chemical safety rules anytime soon. In the meantime, scientist Thomas Hartung may have created the next best thing.

Occupational Health News Roundup

State investigations at New York nail salons uncover widespread violations; Oklahoma regulators rule that state law allowing employers to opt out of workers’ compensation is unconstitutional; EPA proposes new safety rules for chemical facilities; and reporters at Reuters investigate labor brokers who recruit and exploit foreign workers.

Manufacturers who market their products as “BPA-free” aren’t just sending consumers a message about chemical composition. The underlying message is about safety — as in, this product is safe or least more safe than products that do contain BPA. However earlier this month, another study found that a common BPA alternative — BPS — may not be safer at all.