Tag archives for EPA
When a widely used chemical is identified as an environmental health hazard and targeted for phase-out and elimination, among the most challenging questions for those involved with making such a chemical are: What to use instead? and Will the replacement be safe? The US Environmental Protection Agency’s report identifying alternatives to the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) illustrates how difficult those questions can be to answer.
Following the deadly April 17, 2013 explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer plant – and a series of other catastrophic incidents involving hazardous materials – President Obama directed federal agencies to improve chemical facility security and safety. Their report makes recommendations but does not mandate any immediate action. Meanwhile, dangerous chemical releases occur at workplaces around the US almost daily.
Conditions on Florida tomato farms improve thanks to the Fair Food Program; federal officials are developing a protective inhalation screening level for the West Virginia chemical spill region; and a Government Accountability Project expert testifies on whistleblower protections in observance of Workers Memorial Day.
“For us it’s personal,” said Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator. “It’s a daily issue for us. Every day with a weaker protection standard is another day a worker is exposed to pesticides,” she said. On February 20th the EPA proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides. Farm worker advocates are welcoming the proposal – the first update since 1992 – but see both improvements and what some are calling “steps backward.”
The Obama Administration, at the urging of chemical manufacturers, withdrew two EPA actions proposed under the Toxic Substance Control Act. The measures would have provided the public more information about the hazards associated with certain chemical substances.
A federal judge rebukes a coal company that sued a miner for filing a whistleblower discrimination complaint; EPA and OSHA have yet to announce formal enforcement activities for the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion; and LA bus drivers say pesticides used on buses are making them sick.
When most of us pass by a new high-rise or drive down a new road, we rarely think: Did the builders and planners consider my health? However, a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers evidence that certain types of land use and transportation decisions can indeed limit the human health and environmental impacts of development.
Although EPA banned commercially manufactured PCBs in 1979, it still allows PCBs that occur as manufacturing by-products. Recent research has found these by-product PCBs in air and water samples from across the US. Are workers at risk from exposure to these substances?
EPA delays an announcement about a carcinogen found in some tap water on the advice of a scientific panel that’s ostensibly unbiased — but an investigation into panelists’ backgrounds finds some troubling conflicts of interest.