30 Sep 2009:
EPA Will Draft New Law
To Regulate Toxic Chemicals in Products
Lisa Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is proposing a major change in the way the federal government regulates tens of thousands of chemicals in consumer products
, one that would place more of a responsibility on industry to prove that the compounds are safe. Jackson is proposing an overhaul of a 1976 toxics law that she called “inordinately cumbersome and time-consuming” and said that her agency will immediately begin analyzing and regulating six widely-used chemicals found in countless consumer products. Among the six are bisphenol A, used in plastic bottles; phthalates, found in vinyl and cosmetics; and perfluorinated compounds used in making non-stick coatings and food packaging. Many scientists say these chemicals can mimic hormones and hurt development of fetuses and children, as well as possibly causing reproductive problems and cancer. “As more and more chemicals are found in our bodies and the environment, the public is understandably anxious and confused,” said Jackson. “Many are turning to government for assurance that chemicals have been assessed using the best available science.”
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.