Chemical Policy (TSCA)
There is widespread agreement that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principle federal statute governing the use and safety of the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to in our everyday lives, is broken and needs to be reformed.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given responsibility but little authority to enforce TSCA. Enacted in 1976, this current law was broken from the start, grandfathering thousands of chemicals already on the market. This law is so broken and so weak that the EPA could not even ban asbestos, a cancer-causing substance that is still in use and killing thousands of Americans each year.
To date, the EPA has only reviewed a few hundred chemicals for safety. There are nearly 85,000 chemicals currently approved for use that the federal government and consumers know little to nothing about.
We need real toxic chemical reform that ensures protection of public health, especially to our vulnerable populations, and the environment from the hazards these chemicals pose.
EWG has investigated scores of harmful industrial chemicals, the companies that produce them and the government policies that permit Americans to be exposed to them in their food, water and the air. Our research has repeatedly borne out the need to shift the burden of proof and require manufacturers to substantiate chemicals' safety before use in consumer products.Read More
A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel today recommended limits on chemical industry testing of pesticides and toxic chemicals on human subjects.Read More
EWG testifies at a EPA public meeting on teflon contamination, and charges DuPont repeatedly downplayed questions of the Teflon chemical’s toxicity.Read More
A series of studies published beginning in the 1950s shows that DuPont has known for at least 50 years that Teflon fumes at relatively low temperatures can cause an acute illness known as polymer fume fever. In several studies DuPont recruited human volunteers and intentionally exposed them to Teflon fumes to the point of illness. The results of these studies suggest that people cooking on Teflon and other non-stick pans may be at risk.Read More
Congresswoman Lois Capps today introduced legislation to protect Americans from perchlorate, a chemical contaminate that has seeped into underground water supplies and has recently been detected in agricultural products such as lettuce. The Preventing Perchlorate Pollution Act would accelerate the establishment of an EPA standard for perchlorate, and require the enhanced access to community "right to know" information about perchlorate contamination.Read More
EWG asks EPA administrator Whitman to investigation apparent reporting violations by DuPont Chemical. EWG submits documentation that DuPont had determined that 2 of 7 babies born to Teflon-exposed female workers in the company's Parkersburg WV plant had facial birth defects. DuPont had not reported this information to EPA as required under Section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act.Read More
EWG alleged today that the DuPont chemical company has violated federal law by withholding from the government for the last 22 years a company study that detected a toxic, Teflon-related chemical in the umbilical cord blood of one infant born to a company worker, and in the blood of another worker’s baby.Read More
A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel, requested by the Bush Administration, will meet January 8-9, 2003 to begin its review of the ethics of chemical companies using humans in laboratory tests in order to loosen environmental safeguards on pesticides and other toxic chemicals.Read More
A review of federal and industry science on the toxic industrial chemical commonly called C8 (perflouroctanoic acid, used to make Teflon) reveals that water pollution policy by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is far less protective than previous industry standards.Read More
"Contamination of drinking water supplies by the toxic industrial chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, or C8) is a continuing concern to the residents of Parkersburg and surrounding areas of Wood County near the source of the pollution, DuPont’s manufacturing operation in Washington, West Virginia."Read More
An analysis of campaign contributions and air pollution data released today by the Environmental Working Group concludes that too many politicians side with their contributors and against their constituents on air pollution, even in metropolitan areas where air pollution prematurely ends thousands of lives each year.Read More
EWG's analysis of campaign gifts and air pollution data concludes that too many politicians in the House of Representatives side with their contributors and against their constituents on air pollution, even in U.S. metropolitan areas where air pollution prematurely ends thousands of lives each year.Read More
During the past two years, anti-environmental corporations vigorously attempted to convince the U.S. Senate to undo environmental health and safety standards. EWG searched public disclosure records to determine whether generous contributions from PACs associated with an anti-environmental agenda were an effective tool to help them persuade senators to support such an agenda.Read More