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”?
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
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
American voters overwhelmingly say they want government and industry to ensure the products they buy are free of harmful chemicals, and they are willing to pay more for it, according to a national online survey commissioned by the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). “At … Continue reading Poll: Voters Agree on Need for More Protections from Chemicals
The emergence of COVID-19 marked a dramatic shift in our lives: quarantine, remote work, and coping with the extraordinary loss of life on a global scale. As environmental health experts, we were also concerned about how increased exposure to cleaning chemicals – and chemicals generally – might impact COVID outcomes. We knew this virus – … Continue reading How do chemical exposures impact COVID?
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
One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “How can I avoid harmful chemicals?” With thousands of toxic substances pumped into our air, dumped into our soil and water, and put into our food, clothes, products, homes and workplaces, it’s not easy. Which toxic chemicals should we be worried about? Which are linked to … Continue reading Exposed: How to avoid harmful chemicals
Extreme heat is a burgeoning health threat unleashed by our climate crisis and predicted to get worse amid increasing global warming. But current approaches to health care have generally overlooked exposure to extreme heat in the treatment and prevention of illness. We sought to address this problem. Heat waves have already become more extreme and … Continue reading Surviving Extreme Heat: A climate crisis project