Category: Chemicals

Toxic byproducts of Agent Orange continue to pollute Vietnam environment

Read the full story in Science Daily.

During the Vietnam War, United States aircraft sprayed more than 20 million gallons of herbicides, including dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, on the country’s rain forests, wetlands, and croplands. A new article documents the environmental legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam, including hotspots where dioxin continues to enter the food supply.

Former Koch official runs EPA chemical research

Read the full story in Politico.

Previously undisclosed documents obtained by POLITICO show David Dunlap began working on the issue almost immediately upon arriving at EPA in October.

Walmart becomes latest retailer to ban chemicals found in paint strippers

Read the full story in The Hill.

Walmart is joining the growing list of retailers that are banning paint strippers that contain two controversial chemicals tied to cancer.

The chain announced Monday that it will no longer sell products carrying paint strippers that contain methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) starting in February.

Lower concentration limit proposed for PAHs found in granules and mulches

Read the full story from the European Chemicals Agency.

The Netherlands has prepared a proposal to support a possible restriction to address the risks from eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in granules and mulches used in synthetic turf pitches, or in loose forms at playgrounds and other sports facilities.

Critics pan EPA plan for evaluating studies of toxic chemicals

Read the full story in Science.

Academic scientists and advocacy groups are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw and rewrite proposed guidelines for determining which scientific findings to use when evaluating the safety of toxic chemicals. Critics say that if adopted, the guidance will allow regulators to exclude high-quality health and risk studies for “ridiculous” reasons, favor industry-backed research, and prevent EPA from considering academic studies that rest on innovative methods.

Regulate to reduce chemical mixture risk

Read the full article in Science.

Humans and wildlife are continuously exposed to multiple chemicals from different sources and via different routes, both simultaneously and in sequence. Scientific evidence for heightened toxicity from such mixtures is mounting, yet regulation is lagging behind. Ensuring appropriate regulation of chemical mixture risks will require stronger legal stimuli as well as close integration of different parts of the regulatory systems in order to meet the data and testing requirements for mixture risk assessment.

Chemical Hazard Data Commons

The Chemical Hazard Data Commons provides resources to assess and compare human and environmental health hazards of different chemicals, plus tools to collaborate to find safer alternatives. The goal of this effort is to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and improve the inherent safety of materials and products. Their mission and vision is further detailed in a series of whitepapers.

The Data Commons integrates the following data sources and analyses to show what is known about the hazards of chemicals and facilitate comparisons:

  • Hazard listings – Associations between chemicals and 25 specific human and environmental health endpoints identified by governmental and professional authorities. Largely based on the Healthy Building Network’s Pharos Chemical and Material Library. The Data Commons aggregates over 40 authoritative hazard lists. Sources to keep them up to date. For a list of all the hazard sources and to learn more, check out the Pharos system description. They also include select data that manufacturers have submitted through REACH registration dossiers in addition to the authoritative body listings.
  • Restricted substance lists – Listings of chemicals whose use is restricted and/or managed by regulatory or corporate policy or subject to voluntary program guidance. Data Commons hazard tables reference over 30 restricted substance lists. To learn more, check out the Pharos system description, starting on page 20.
  • Exempt & Positive lists – Listings of chemicals that have been exempted from regulatory actions (such as EPA VOC exemptions) or are preferable for use for certain applications based upon an assessment of lower hazard (such as the EPA SCIL list). Beware, these lists generally have constraints – exemptions of preferences based on a limited set of health endpoints or for limited uses
  • List Screening – The Data Commons is an approved GreenScreen Automator assessing all chemicals in the database against the GreenScreen List Translator to generate LT scores identifying known chemicals of high concern.
  • Hazard assessments – Toxicological assessments using the GreenScreen™ protocol that benchmarks the inherent hazards of chemicals across a broad range of health endpoints. The Data Commons provides access to all GreenScreen assessments published for public use.
  • Identification – Over 85,000 substances are listed in the Data Commons, searchable by over 260,000 CASRNs and synonyms utilizing the NIH PubChem and ChemIDplus databases.
  • Physical properties – chemical formulas and some key physical data are drawn from the NIH PubChem database.
  • Compound groups – The Data Commons is the home of the Compound Group Population Project which creates structural or other definitions for the chemical compound groups referenced by authoritative hazard lists. They use those definitions to associate relevant CASRN with those groups to ensure comprehensive list screening.

Sound management of chemicals and their waste is vital for sustainable development

Read the full story from the United Nations Development Programme.

Chemicals are a part of our modern society, and each day we use various chemical-based products to make our lives more comfortable and productive. However, without good management practices, chemicals and the hazardous waste they generate can pose significant risks to human health and the environment.

OSHA Occupational Chemical Database

This chemical inventory is OSHA’s one-stop shop for occupational chemical information. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. Information available on the pages includes:

  • Chemical identification and physical properties
  • Exposure limits
  • Sampling information, and
  • Additional resources.

New York Launches Disclosure Program Intended to Protect Consumers from Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products

Read the full story from Bergeson & Campbell PC.

In somewhat of a surprise announcement, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on June 6, 2018, released its final policy and form for manufacturer disclosures under the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program. The Disclosure Program is similar to the recently enacted California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 which requires the disclosure of cleaning product ingredients by way of website or product label. The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program requires manufacturers of cleaning products sold in New York to disclose chemical ingredients and identify any ingredients that appear on authoritative lists of chemicals of concern on their websites. New York states that it “will be the first state in the nation to require such disclosure and the State’s program goes beyond initiatives in other states by requiring the robust disclosure of byproducts and contaminants, as well as chemicals with the potential to trigger asthma in adults and children.” NYSDEC has posted the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program Certification Form and Program Policy and a response to comments.

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