Nostalgia can be dangerous! Before passing on old toys to your children, consider new research that has found contaminants like arsenic, lead and cadmium in plastic toys from decades ago.
By CASEY JUNKINS Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING – Even with all the frackers, pipeliners, truckers, abstractors and others working in the Marcellus and Utica shale boom region, at least two researchers believe the industry’s impact on employment is virtually nil in the states involved.
That’s right. The American Chemistry Council, the leading trade organization and lobbying arm of the chemical industry, has left its fingerprints all over the very legislation that is supposed to regulate it.
It would almost be laughable if there were not so much at stake – but this could not be more serious, Friend. This bill would fail to ensure that chemicals are safe, fail to set meaningful deadlines for safety reviews, fail to provide the Environmental Protection Agency with adequate resources and deny states the ability to enforce their own laws to protect public health and the environment.
Earlier this week I testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and presented the facts in opposition to this reprehensible bill. Now it’s your turn to speak up, too.
If we don’t act quick, the first major, comprehensive environmental protection bill to emerge from Congress in almost a generation will be one that originated in the chemical industry – the very industry the bill purports to regulate.
We need to do everything we can to make sure that Congress enacts real chemical safety reform – not a bill blatantly written to protect the profits of the chemical industry. It’s time to shut down the bill written by the chemical industry and to protect the health of the American people!
In a surprising move for a polarized Ohio legislature controlled by far-right Republicans cozy with fossil fuel interests, its House Energy and Natural Resources committee voted 12-0 Tuesday to ban fracking in state parks. The full bill, which aims to speed up the drilling permitting process, was then passed unanimously on the House floor Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate. Read more.
Chemical Industry Gets Free Pass in Vitter-Udall Bill: NYU Study Links Toxic Chemicals to Billions in Health Care Costs
(New York, NY) A new bill that claims to update how chemicals are regulated in the United States, introduced today by Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Tom Udall (D-NM), is a sweet deal for the chemical industry that would keep exposing Americans to harmful chemicals while exposing the nation to billions in health care costs, a coalition of community, environmental and health groups said today.
The groups pointed to a new study by New York University that documents over $100 billion a year in health care costs in the European Union for diseases associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals, including IQ loss, ADHD, infertility, diabetes and other disorders that have been rising in the U.S.
The Vitter-Udall bill, introduced on Tuesday, March 10th, purports to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, which was meant to protect the public from harmful chemicals but which has allowed tens of thousands of chemicals – including chemicals that cause cancer and other problems noted above – into the marketplace with little or no health and safety testing.
“New research links toxic chemicals with a range of illnesses and billions of dollars in health care costs, yet Senators Udall and Vitter are proposing a bill that doesn’t address major problems with current policies and would give the chemical industry a free pass to keep exposing Americans to harmful chemicals for decades to come,” said Katie Huffling, RN, CNM, Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, a network of nurses across the U.S. who have been working to reform TSCA.
“The chemical industry should not be allowed to draft the very laws meant to regulate them,” said Richard Moore from Los Jardines Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, also with the Environmental Justice Health Alliance. “We need serious chemical reform that protects the health of all people including those who are living in ‘hot spots’ or ‘sacrifice zones’ – typically communities of color — that are highly impacted by chemical factories.” Moore continued, “It seems that my own Senator, Senator Udall, has forgotten the needs of his constituents in favor of meeting the needs of his industry friends.” The New York Times reported last week that Sen. Udall has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the chemical industry.
Dorothy Felix from Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN) in Louisiana, said, “Because of the failure of TSCA, our community is faced with extensive toxic pollution that is causing us to consider relocating. Senator Vitter and other legislators are well aware of these toxic impacts yet they are proposing a bill that would be even worse than current law. Let’s be clear: Senator Vitter’s bill is good for the chemical industry, not for the people who live daily with the consequences of toxic chemical exposures.”
“Chemical industry influence over the Vitter-Udall bill is unacceptable and the authors need to come back to the table and listen to the huge community of environmental and health groups that have been working on TSCA reform for decades,” said Martha Arguello, Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles.
“The regulatory framework for chemicals must protect health, especially the most vulnerable members of our society, and also must allow states to regulate toxic chemicals in order to protect their communities,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “State actions to protect their own residents are the only thing prompting federal action, and states should not lose that right.”
“We need 21st century, solution-based laws that empower agencies and people to live in a society that safeguards our health and environment. This bill falls short of that goal,” said Jose Bravo, Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance. “The bill is called the ‘Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act’ but unfortunately it is a horrible reminder of what industry special interests can do to undermine our personal and environmental health.”
The groups are part of the Coming Clean coalition’s Workgroup for Public Policy Reform, which is advocating for TSCA reform to include the six principles outlined in the Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals:
- · Require safer substitutes and solutions;
- · Phase out persistent, bioaccumulative or highly toxic chemicals;
- · Give the public and workers the full right to know;
- · Act on early warnings;
- · Require comprehensive safety data on all chemicals;
- · Take immediate action to protect communities and workers
The Charter, in effect since 2004, provides a framework for comprehensive chemical policy reform in a manner that protects public health, preserves the environment and supports innovation for safer chemical solutions.
For more information on the Louisville Charter and federal chemical policy reform, including statements from other organizations on the newly-introduced TSCA bill, see www.smartpolicyreform.org.
- See more at: http://smartpolicyreform.org/for-the-media/news-items/chemical-industry-gets-free-pass-in-vitter-udall-bill-nyu-study-links-toxic-chemicals-to-billions-in-health-care-costs?f=87#sthash.P5EFY7Sf.dpuf
The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it intends to restrict the phthalates DEHP, BBP, DBP and DiBP under the revised EU Directive on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS2) in electrical and electronic equipment (CW 7 February 2014).
GRETNA – The family of a former worker at an oil drilling pipe cleaning yard is suing several oil companies claiming his exposure to radioactive materials resulted in his death years later from lung cancer.
Bolton Domangue, Jeannie Domangue Callais and Connoie Domangue Thibodeaux filed suit against ExxonMobil Corporation, ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, Chevron USA Inc., Devon Energy Production Company LP, ConocoPhillips Company, BP Products North America Inc., BP America Production Company, Shell Oil Company, BEPCO LP, Marathon Oil Company, OFS Inc. and Patterson Truck Line Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Jan. 12.
The plaintiffs claim that during the years 1967 to 1973, 1975, 1981 and 1982 Augustine Domangue worked at Shield Coat Inc. during which time he was allegedly exposed to pipes that contained oilfield generated radioactivity (OGR). The survivors of Domangue claim that the OGR materials were pulverized in the process of cleaning the pipes and turned into dust that Domangue inhaled and ingested that later led to his contraction of lung cancer from which he ultimately died.
The defendants are accused of knowing the danger presented by the radioactive materials, failing to warn, failing to properly supervise, failing to test the pipe for radioactivity, failing to label the pipes with warnings of radioactive materials, carelessness, negligence and using defective production equipment.
An unspecified amount in damages is sought for wrongful death, survival damages, pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of companionship, loss of support, loss of wages and funeral expenses.
The plaintiffs are represented by Jeremiah A. Sprague of the Marrero-based Falcon Law Firm.
The case has been assigned to Division E Judge John J. Molaison Jr.
Case no. 745-736.
CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences released the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, an ongoing biomonitoring assessment of the U.S. population’s exposure to environmental chemicals.
The Updated Tables, February, 2015 provides nationally-representative biomonitoring data from CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that have become available since the publication of the Fourth Report in 2009.
The Updated Tables, February 2015 presents data for a total of 265 chemicals, of which 65 are new and 139 have been updated since the release of the last version. This release includes previous updates to the tables and provides new data for some metals, pthalates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
For a complete list of the chemicals included in this update visit the Report Web Page.
In recent days, a draft of the bill — considered the product of more than two years of negotiation and collaboration between Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and both chemical industry and environmental groups — was circulated by Udall’s office ahead of the hearing. The draft bill, obtained by Hearst Newspapers, is in the form of a Microsoft Worddocument. Rudimentary digital forensics — going to “advanced properties” in Word — shows the “company” of origin to be the American Chemistry Council. Read full story here.