Chemicals Policy

Category archives for Chemicals Policy

Revolving door from chemical industry to EPA: No way to boost public confidence

A chemical industry representative said transparency will boost public confidence in the EPA’s chemical safety program. Trump has now appointed her to that office. How transparent will she be?

Formaldehyde, scientists, and politics

A commentary by CUNY School of Public Health professor Franklin Mirer describes the ongoing interference by Congress on the science behind the designation of formaldehyde as a carcinogen. His commentary, “What’s Science Got to Do with It?” is timed perfectly for this weekend’s Marches for Science.

Occupational Health News Roundup

California farmworkers living in fear of deportation; Ontario health care workers call on officials to address violence in the workplace; West Virginia legislators consider dramatic loosening of mine safety standards; and thousands of workers get ready to strike on May 1.

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report finding 457 fracking-related spills in eight states between 2006 and 2012. Last month, a new study tallied more than 6,600 fracking spills in just four states between 2005 and 2014. But, as usual, the numbers only tell part of the story.

Earlier this month, news broke of a study that found potentially health-harming chemicals in a variety of fast food packaging. Upon hearing such news, the natural inclination is to worry that you’re ingesting those chemicals along with your burger and fries. Study researcher Graham Peaslee says that’s certainly a risk. But perhaps the greater risk, he says, happens after that hamburger wrapper ends up in landfill and the chemicals seep into our environment and water.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers suffering the ‘lethal legacy’ of a General Electric plant in Canada fight for compensation; OSHA looks into an Arizona commission that routinely reduces penalties for safety violations; advocates ponder the future of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program; and millions of workers get a raise in the new year.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from March 2016: 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.

Poultry workers suffer while industry uses chemicals to disinfect your chicken

Poultry processing workers and food safety inspectors are being doused with chemicals in the name of food safety. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and colleagues urge the Secretaries of USDA, HHS, and Labor to ensure that food safety doesn’t come at the expense of worker safety.

EPA embraces new chemical safety law, proposes rule to ban certain uses of trichloroethylene

EPA announced yesterday a proposed rule to ban trichloroethylene as a spot-cleaning agent in dry cleaning operations and as an aerosol spray degreaser. The agency is again moving swiftly to use its authority under a chemical safety law.

EPA beats Congress’ deadline, names first 10 chemicals for action under new law

EPA met its first major milestone under the new chemical safety law passed by Congress this past June. It announced its list for the first 10 chemicals for which it will prepare risk evaluations. Those evaluations could lead to restrictions on use or phase-outs of chemicals that presents an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment.