While Congress continues to fail to update toxic chemical laws and regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will conduct safety reviews of 83 chemicals often found in consumer goods and manufacturing.
The agency is giving top priority to seven chemicals considered the most serious risks to human health and the environment for assessment in 2012. They are:
- Antimony and antimony compounds
- HHCB (1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta[g]-2-benzopyran)
- Long-chain chlorinated paraffins
- Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins
- Methylene chloride
“The list of chemicals EPA has targeted reads like a rogue’s gallery of carcinogens, neurotoxic substances and chemicals that could cause serious organ damage,” Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for Research at the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. “Congress hasn’t come up with a legislative fix to help shield the public from toxic substances. But the Obama EPA under Administrator Lisa Jackson continues to do what it’s supposed to do: protect people and the environment.”
In conducting risk assessments on the seven chemicals, EPA will use information available through scientific literature, and the agency is also seeking unpublished studies.
This spring, the EPA plans to identify chemicals that it will conduct risk assessment on in 2013 and 2014.
The EPA will provide draft risk assessments for public review and comments as they’re completed. If an assessment indicates significant risk, the EPA will evaluate and carry out risk reduction actions. If an assessment indicates no significant risk, the EPA will conclude its current work on that chemical.
Additional chemicals will be added to the work plan as more data are developed and more chemicals screened.