State Toxic Chemical Regulations at Risk in Upcoming Trade Negotiations

On Oct. 7, the United States and European Union will resume negotiations that began earlier this year over the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).  Since tariffs and quotas between the U.S. and EU are already quite low, the negotiations will focus primarily on reducing “non-tariff barriers” (such as differences in standards and regulations) to expand trade across the Atlantic.

read in full

MSHA Targets Black Lung with New Rule

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is proposing to cut in half the exposure limit for coal dust, the cause of black lung disease. MSHA estimates the new standard will prevent thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths over the lifetimes of miners.

read in full

New Study Finds High Levels of Controversial Plastics Chemical in Paper Receipts

A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests that many Americans are at risk of exposure to a dangerous chemical that has been found in baby bottles, the lining of food and beverage containers, and now paper receipts. Significant levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical that is not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency, was found in 40 percent of paper receipts collected from major retailers, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, fast-food restaurants, post offices and ATMs.

read in full

FDA Must Consider Ruling on Plastics Chemical, Environmental Group Says

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is suing the Food and Drug Administration with the hopes of forcing the agency to regulate bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in hard plastics (like reusable water and baby bottles), the lining of food and beverage containers, and other everyday products. Exposure to BPA has been linked to developmental disorder, cancer, heart diseases, and other health problems.

read in full

Rhyme Time: EPA to Take on BPA

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled an action plan for addressing bisphenol-A (BPA), a common chemical found in a variety of hard plastics and the lining of food can containers.

read in full

FDA Calls BPA Risky, but Puts off Regulation

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration made its long-awaited announcement on the safety of bisphenol-A, a chemical ingredient in hard plastics, food can liners, and other common products. The verdict? “[R]ecent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. FDA also recognizes substantial uncertainties with respect to the overall interpretation of these studies and their potential implications for human health effects of BPA exposure.”

read in full

In Drinking Water, What’s Legal Can Be Poisonous

In another of The New York Times’ startling articles on the state of U.S. waters, Charles Duhigg reports on the myriad chemicals polluting drinking water supplies and regulators’ inability to manage them.

read in full

FDA Delays Decision on Chemical in Plastics

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) missed a self-imposed deadline to make a determination about the safety of bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical ingredient in hard plastics, food can liners, and other common products. Studies have linked BPA exposure to heart disease, developmental disorders, and other health problems.

read in full

OMB Responds to Criticism over Endocrine Program

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag said Monday that OMB did not improperly interfere in an EPA program meant to test the hormone-disrupting effects of chemicals. Orszag said that EPA has complete control over the program.

read in full

Plastics Chemical Poses Sexual Health Risks to Exposed Workers

Researchers spent years studying the effects of bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure on factory workers in China, and the news isn't good. The key findings of the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, are more or less summed up in two passages.

read in full