“Chemicals of Concern” List Still on Hold after 21 Months of Chemical Industry Lobbying
Monday, February 13, 2012
Calvin Dooley, president and CEO president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council
A 90-day White House review of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of possibly toxic “chemicals of concern” has now taken 640 days with no end in sight. Although EPA administrator Lisa Jackson considers the list an important part of her efforts to step up the agency’s regulation of toxic substances, chemical industry lobbyists have stymied the proposal since its May 12, 2010, arrival at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). OIRA is part of the Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the federal budget for the White House and advises White House officials on policy, legislation, regulations, and other matters.
Chemicals known to be on the secret list include Bisphenol A, (found in plastics and thought to interfere with the hormonal system); a set of eight phthalates (used in plastics and cosmetics and believed to alter development of the male reproductive system); and certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (used as flame retardants and associated with thyroid and brain development problems).
In those 640 days, OIRA has hosted eight stakeholder meetings about the list—six of them with corporate and industry groups, versus only one with public health and environmental groups and one with staffers for Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and Sheldon Whitehouse, who are sponsoring legislation to strengthen toxic chemical regulation. In the meantime, the American Chemistry Council, the chief lobbying arm of the chemical industry, spent $18.4 million lobbying Washington on this and other issues, on top of lobbying by industry giants Dow, BASF, SABIC and ExxonMobil, all of which have tried to get specific chemicals taken off the list.
To Learn More:
“Chemicals of concern” list stuck at OMB (by Chris Hamby and Jim Morris, iWatch News)
For Sale: American’s Health (by Lois Marie Gibbs, Center for Health, Environment and Justice)
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