Gore to Phase Out Perfluorinated Chemicals, Develop New Waterproofing Coatings

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Gore Fabrics says it will eliminate perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) of environmental concern from its products by 2023.

Gore, which supplies products including jackets and shoes to major outdoor apparel makers including Patagonia and The North Face, calls the move an “important milestone in its long-term journey towards continuously reducing the environmental footprint of its products throughout their full life cycle.”

Milwaukee bans coal-tar sealants after study shows they pollute streams

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Milwaukee banned coal-tar sealants Tuesday after a study blamed them for contaminating streams.

The Milwaukee Public Works Committee recommended a city ordinance to the general council that would ban the use of coal-tar sealants. The council approved the ban unanimously.

The ban was proposed in the wake of a recent study that found that as many as 78 percent of Milwaukee streams have toxic levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

NTP supports first study of BPA levels in U.S. factory workers

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

A new study, supported by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), is the first to look at occupational exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) among manufacturing workers in the United States.

Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) led the study, which appeared Jan. 1 in the journal Annals of Work Exposures and Health. NIOSH is one of the member agencies of NTP, and the study was conducted as part of an ongoing collaboration between the two agencies.

Chemical risk assessment keeps pace with emerging science

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

Advances in science and technology open the door to new approaches for assessing the risks posed by chemicals in the environment, according to a Jan. 5 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations” considers recent progress in exposure science, toxicology, and epidemiology, and provides recommendations for applying those advances to risk assessment.

Pharmaceutical pollution takes toll on crayfish and other species

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Drugs seeping into groundwater threaten crayfish and have a domino effect of environmental impacts that harm fish and other species, according to new research.

EPA Taking Action to Remove 72 Inert Ingredients Previously Approved for Use in Pesticide Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to remove 72 ingredients from its list of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products.

Manufacturers wishing to use these ingredients in the future will have to provide EPA with studies or information to demonstrate their safety. EPA will then consider whether to allow their use.

EPA is taking this action in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and others. These groups asked the agency to issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products. Instead, EPA will evaluate potential risks of inert ingredients and reduce risks, as appropriate.

Many of the 72 inert ingredients removed with this action are on the list of 371 identified by the petitioners as hazardous. EPA is taking this action after considering public comments on its October 2014 proposal. EPA’s list of approved inert ingredients will be updated after the Federal Register publication.

Most pesticide products contain a mixture of different ingredients. Ingredients that are directly responsible for controlling pests such as insects or weeds are called active ingredients. An inert ingredient is any other substance that is intentionally included in a pesticide that is not an active ingredient.

  • For the list of 72 chemical substances, see the Federal Register Notice in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558.
  • For EPA’s current approach on inert ingredients and the May 22, 2014, response to the petitioners, see the federal website.
  • General information on inert ingredients

Call for Abstracts for Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, and IISG are organizing the Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference, which will be held on May 31 – June 1, 2017 in Champaign, Illinois.

Abstracts are welcome on all aspects of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment. Topics may include: research, policy, management, outreach, and education about their detection, fate, transport, remediation, and prevention. Emerging contaminants include but are not limited to:

  • Flame retardants
  • Algal toxins
  • Hormones
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Personal care products
  • Microplastics
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminants such as coal tar sealants
  • Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

Oral presentation abstracts are due January 31, 2017, and poster abstracts are due February 28, 2017.

Submit an Oral Presentation Abstract      

Submit a Poster Presentation Abstract

The conference is an expansion of the successful Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment Conference held in Champaign in April 2016.

ISTC and IISG encourage researchers, educators, businesses, government officials, outreach and extension professionals, environmental groups, and members of the general public to attend this conference.

The event will take place at the I Hotel Conference Center in Champaign. On May 31, oral sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. CDT, with a reception and poster session following from 4:15 – 6:00 p.m. On June 1, oral sessions and a panel discussion will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Registration will open mid-February. (Times are subject to change once the agenda is finalized.)

For questions, please contact Elizabeth Meschewski, conference coordinator.