Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Government report slams EPA for poor regulation of chemicals

Guest post by Toxic Free NC volunteer Christopher Grohs.

The financial meltdown isn’t the only crisis resulting from poor government regulation facing the American public right now.

In its 2009 High Risk priority report released January 22, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) sharply criticized the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) track record of safety testing for hazardous chemicals. This includes, of course, pesticides, which EPA is charged with regulating.

Recent articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and AScribe Newswire explain the numerous problems the EPA has had providing accurate and timely information to the American public. From the Journal-Sentinel article:

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lacks adequate scientific information on the toxicity of many chemicals that may be found in the environment - as well as on tens of thousands of chemicals used commercially in the United States," the GAO said. "EPA's inadequate progress in assessing toxic chemicals significantly limits the agency's ability to fulfill its mission of protecting human health and the environment."

(...)

"The EPA's ability to protect public health and the environment depends on credible and timely assessments of the risks posed by toxic chemicals, the GAO found. Its Integrated Risk Information System, which contains assessments of more than 500 toxic chemicals, "is at serious risk of becoming obsolete because the EPA has been unable to keep its existing assessments current or to complete assessments of important chemicals of concern."

The EPA urgently needs to streamline and increase the transparency of this assessment process, the report says."

Weaknesses in EPA's system of chemical regulation ultimately hurt American families who are exposed to a plethora of toxic chemicals through their use of everyday household products - pesticides, cleaners, plastics, cosmetics, and more. The public is also exposed to a variety of chemicals in our food, water and air because of their use in agriculture and industry.

For tips on how to reduce your exposure to pesticides and other toxics at home, from eating locally to staving off annoying bugs, check out the many resources available on our website. Toxic Free NC provides useful information for parents, resources for getting involved in the pesticide-free movement and a list of toxins commonly used on our crops (so you can make the healthier decisions!).

1 comment:

Actve said...

Suggest you to provide link to

www.energyenvironmentforum.com

and encourage your readers to use the Energy Environment Forum and get a link back !
energyenvironmentforum at gmail dot com