Are “safe” exposure levels really “safe”?

Health risk assessment is the method that regulators use to determine whether chemicals in the environment pose a risk to people’s health and how much exposure to the chemical produces these effects. Unfortunately, current human health risk assessments don’t capture everyone’s risk level. Our recent paper, Application of Probabilistic Methods to Address Variability and Uncertainty … Continue reading Are “safe” exposure levels really “safe”?

With chemicals that can harm you, one size does not fit all

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluates chemical risks, it assumes for the most part that we are all the same. Or, rather, that some of us might be a little bit more sensitive than others. Ten times more sensitive, to be specific. But that’s not exactly true. When it comes to chemicals in … Continue reading With chemicals that can harm you, one size does not fit all

The weak link: gaps in exposure assessments

Protecting the public from the most concerning environmental chemicals and contaminants involves many individual steps. For example, when an agency like the US EPA or FDA evaluates a chemical used in consumer products, they want to evaluate:  the hazards associated with that chemical,   how that chemical causes harm, how much of the chemical is released … Continue reading The weak link: gaps in exposure assessments

Scientists recommend changes to chemical regulatory process

As Chemicals Proliferate in the Environment, a Science-Based Approach Is Needed to Protect Human Health With chemical production and use on the rise, and continued evidence that many chemicals in everyday products are linked to health problems such as cancer, infertility, and neurodevelopmental conditions, an interdisciplinary group of scientific experts said changes are urgently needed … Continue reading Scientists recommend changes to chemical regulatory process

EPA’s failure to properly implement TSCA puts lives at risk

In the 40 years between enactment of the original Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976 and its 2016 amendments, EPA regulated less than 1% of the existing chemicals on the market. EPA was even unable to ban cancer-causing chemicals like asbestos, part of the reason Congress updated TSCA to make it easier for regulators … Continue reading EPA’s failure to properly implement TSCA puts lives at risk

Running out the TSCA clock could give hazardous chemicals a “pass”

Is EPA giving itself enough time to evaluate the safety of chemicals and protect health? Or is the Agency’s planned process to gather data for risk evaluations on chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), called the “Tiered Data Reporting Rule,” giving harmful substances a “pass” by running out the clock? When TSCA was … Continue reading Running out the TSCA clock could give hazardous chemicals a “pass”

5 years after TSCA reform – Why EPA must prioritize science to protect public health

Implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not fully account for science or protect the public’s health, so how can EPA strengthen implementation of the law? The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) has closely monitored EPA’s TSCA implementation, submitting public comments on how inadequate … Continue reading 5 years after TSCA reform – Why EPA must prioritize science to protect public health

What Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memo means for EPA and public health

President Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum foreshadows important changes to come in how the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory agencies are able to conduct business. The memo indicates an intention to reduce institutional constraints on regulatory agencies, enabling them to issue regulations more quickly and with less second-guessing from other parts of … Continue reading What Biden’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memo means for EPA and public health