Forty years later TSCA gets an overhaul

In June, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (TSCA reform, hereafter), a revision to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA. The amended law removes several roadblocks that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced when trying to determine the safety of chemicals in household products. There are significant improvements and some drawbacks concerning the revisions…

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Flame Retardants in Car Seats—Do We Need Them?

Car seats are essential to protecting children in cars. Due to a federal motor vehicle flammability standard, many materials in automobiles, including car seats, contain harmful flame retardants. There is no evidence showing this standard increases fire safety for children, but the standard results in exposure to chemicals that have been associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and neurological and reproductive impairment. In a study by the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit, three quarters of car seats tested were found to contain hazardous…

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Guardian: Quest to eliminate chemical flame retardants from Californian homes is far from over, experts say

May 15 2015

A California regulation effectively eliminated the need for chemical flame retardants in furniture in November 2013. Two years later, though, experts say the quest to eliminate the retardants from the home is far from over.…

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New York Times: Commonly Used Chemicals Come Under New Scrutiny

May 1 2015

A top federal health official and hundreds of environmental scientists on Friday voiced new health concerns about a common class of chemicals used in products as varied as pizza boxes and carpet treatments. The concerted public campaign renews a years-old debate about a class of chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs.…

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Science Insider: Scientists call for limits on emerging class of common, long-lived chemicals

May 1 2015

More than 200 scientists from 38 countries spoke with one voice today, calling for curbs on the global production and use of a class of chemicals found in hundreds of grease- and water-resistant industrial and consumer products. To avoid long-term harm to the environment and human health, nations should act now to limit use of the toxic compounds, which can persist for long periods in the environment, the scientists conclude in a statement appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives.…

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Huffington Post: Scientists Issue Warning Over Chemicals Common In Carpets, Coats, Cookware

May 1 2015

In 1961, a DuPont toxicologist warned colleagues that exposure to their company’s increasingly popular Teflon chemicals enlarged the livers of rats and rabbits. Studies over the following decades found no safe level of exposure in animals and determined that humans, too, got sick when exposed to the chemicals — which were also seen to build up in the body and resist breakdown in the environment.…

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