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5 Facts About Michael Dourson, Trump’s Chemical Safety Nominee

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Yet again, a fox is officially on its way to guard the henhouse.

Michael Dourson, President Trump’s nominee to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency, has made his career being paid by polluters – like Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and the Koch brothers – to weaken chemical safety standards.

Let that sink in: The guy who will decide which chemicals are “safe” enough to be in our air and our water – and ultimately in people, including fetuses in the womb – is a paid shill for chemical and pesticide companies.  

Dourson’s Senate confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled. Before it’s too late, EWG is working to expose the truth about Dourson and his decades-long record of greenwashing toxic chemicals at the behest of his polluting funders.

The stakes could not be higher.

As head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Dourson would oversee the agency’s work on the chemicals and pesticides Americans come into contact with every day. Judging by his track record, he would allow polluters to put more toxic chemicals into our air and water, our consumer products and our bodies. The more chemicals in our environment, the harder it will be to protect our families.

  1. Dourson founded and ran a science-for-hire consulting firm, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, or TERA, that was paid for by chemical companies to greenwash safety assessments of their own chemicals.
  2. In a DuPont-funded study for the state of West Virginia, Dourson recommended a “safe” level for exposure to the Teflon chemical PFOA that was 2,000 times less protective than the EPA’s health guideline and 150,000 times higher than the level the best, most current science says is safe.
  3. Dourson advocated for the continued use of a toxic industrial chemical called TCE, which the EPA determined was carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure. TCE was the chemical linked to leukemia in children in the 1998 film “A Civil Action.”
  4. When asked about TERA receiving funding from chemical companies, Dourson responded: “Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He had dinner with them.”
  5. Dourson argued that the pesticide chlorpyrifos, made from nerve gas chemicals, was safe, despite three major studies showing that mothers and children who consume it are “more at risk of giving birth to kids with ADHD and other neurological problems.”

If you want your taxpayer dollars at the EPA to be used to reduce – not increase – the number of toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day, be sure to share these facts with your friends and family before the Senate votes to hand over the nation’s top chemical safety job to Dourson. 

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