Author Topic: Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk.  (Read 68 times)

Solon

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Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk.
« on: October 22, 2017, 02:14:34 PM »
Trump's EPA leadership is unabashedly a stooge of the chemical industry. The goal is to roll back regulations that keep industrial chemicals from damaging the health and environment of people exposed to them in the interest of corporate profits. 

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For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems.

So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it.

The revision was among more than a dozen demanded by the appointee, Nancy B. Beck, after she joined the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit in May as a top deputy. For the previous five years, she had been an executive at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association.

...the E.P.A. regulates some 80,000 different chemicals, many of them highly toxic and used in workplaces, homes and everyday products. If chemicals are deemed less risky, they are less likely to be subjected to heavy oversight and restrictions.

...In March, Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief, overrode the recommendation of Ms. Hamnett and agency scientists to ban the commercial use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, blamed for developmental disabilities in children.

The E.P.A.’s new leadership also pressed agency scientists to re-evaluate a plan to ban certain uses of two dangerous chemicals that have caused dozens of deaths or severe health problems: methylene chloride, which is found in paint strippers, and trichloroethylene, which removes grease from metals and is used in dry cleaning.

...Dr. Beck, who has a doctorate in environmental health, comes from a camp — firmly backed by the chemical industry — that says the government too often directs burdensome rules at what she has called “phantom risks.”

Other scientists and administrators at the E.P.A., including Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, until last month the agency’s top official overseeing pesticides and toxic chemicals, say the dangers are real and the pushback is often a tactic for deflecting accountability — and shoring up industry profits at the expense of public safety.

Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/us/trump-epa-chemicals-regulations.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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Re: Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk.
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 07:09:30 PM »
Today the Trump administration ordered three EPA employees neither to participate nor contribute information at a climate change conference. This censorship of scientific research was called out by protesters and legislators. The Trump EPA has become the poster child for corporate interference in the application of science to life threatening issues in our environment. There is no better illustration of this sabotage of scientific research than today's censorship attempt.

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The Trump administration’s decision to prevent government scientists from presenting climate change-related research at a conference in Rhode Island on Monday gave the event a suddenly high profile, with protesters outside, media inside and angry lawmakers and academics criticizing the move.

“This type of political interference, or scientific censorship — whatever you want to call it — is ill-advised and does a real disservice to the American public and public health,” Sen. Jack Reed (D), Rhode Island’s senior senator, said at an opening news conference for the State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed event in Providence. “We can debate the issues. We can have different viewpoints. But we should all be able to objectively examine the data and look at the evidence.”

...Monday’s conference marked the culmination of a three-year report on the status of Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest estuary, and the challenges it faces. Climate change features as a significant factor in the 500-page report, which evaluates 24 aspects of the bay and its larger watershed. But organizers said the broader point of Monday’s official release of the report was to highlight the improved water quality of the bay in recent decades — a success story they say is due in large part to the state’s partnership with the EPA and its scientists.


‘Let us do our job’: Anger erupts over EPA’s apparent muzzling of scientists
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/23/let-us-do-our-job-anger-erupts-over-epas-muzzling-of-scientists/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_epascience-440pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.104c3c5f17af
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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Re: Within the E.P.A., there is fear that public health is at risk.
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 10:07:43 AM »
There has been a consistent increase in chemical threats to humans permitted by the EPA since the inauguration of Donald Trump. I have only now begun to post about them since it is an agency I used to assume was acting in the public interest, but the alarming indifference of this administration to public health must be publicized. These three posts are a drop in the bucket to what is being done to harm you and your children.   

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The pesticide, which belongs to a class of chemicals developed as a nerve gas made by Nazi Germany, is now found in food, air and drinking water. Human and animal studies show that it damages the brain and reduces I.Q.s while causing tremors among children. It has also been linked to lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease in adults.

This chemical, chlorpyrifos, is hard to pronounce, so let’s just call it Dow Chemical Company’s Nerve Gas Pesticide. Even if you haven’t heard of it, it may be inside you: One 2012 study found that it was in the umbilical cord blood of 87 percent of newborn babies tested.

And now the Trump administration is embracing it, overturning a planned ban that had been in the works for many years.

The Environmental Protection Agency actually banned Dow’s Nerve Gas Pesticide for most indoor residential use 17 years ago — so it’s no longer found in the Raid you spray at cockroaches (it’s very effective, which is why it’s so widely used; then again, don’t suggest this to Dow, but sarin nerve gas might be even more effective!). The E.P.A. was preparing to ban it for agricultural and outdoor use this spring, but then the Trump administration rejected the ban.

That was a triumph for Dow, but the decision stirred outrage among public health experts. They noted that Dow had donated $1 million for President Trump’s inauguration.

Trump’s Legacy: Damaged Brains
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/28/opinion/sunday/chlorpyrifos-dow-environmental-protection-agency.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

The colored parts of the image below, prepared by Columbia University scientists, indicate where a child’s brain is physically altered after exposure to this pesticide.
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken