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There are many reasons for the Senate to oppose President Trump’s nominee to chair the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Nancy Beck.
Since 1980, the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers has killed scores of people. But while in a top position at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety, Beck delayed a proposed ban of methylene chloride in paint strippers. People died.
Beck also stymied a proposed ban of some uses of the known carcinogen TCE, which contaminates hundreds of military bases, and played down the impact of TCE on fetal hearts. Beck twisted federal law to frustrate EPA’s efforts to finally ban asbestos – an interpretation recently deemed illegal.
But it’s Beck’s efforts to weaken consumer protections from the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS – also called “forever” chemicals because they never break down and build up in our blood – that should give senators the most serious pause.