EPA Withheld Reports Of Substantial Risk Posed By 1,240 Chemicals, The Intercept, 1 November 2021
By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents “a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment.”
Companies are giving those risk assessments to the EPA. But the EPA stopped making them public during the Trump administration:
The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals.
I just assumed that the EPA was protecting us. That’s their job?
“I would think most people in the public would assume that when we would get these reports, we give them incredible scrutiny and say, ‘Oh no! What are we going to do about this?’ But basically, they are just going into a black hole,” said one of the two [whistleblower] scientists. “We don’t look at them. We don’t evaluate them. And we don’t check to see if they change our understanding of the chemical.”
“It is not easy to keep selling your chemicals when people know they likely cause cancer or other serious disease,” said Eve Gartner, an attorney who manages the toxic exposure and health program at Earthjustice. “It makes perfect sense that in an EPA that was largely controlled by industry, chemical manufacturers would lobby to get EPA to stop releasing significant risk studies, and EPA would agree to keep this basic health and safety information secret.”
It’s been almost 2 years and Biden’s EPA has not acted on this.
It’s [hard] to understand why the Biden administration, which has repeatedly expressed its commitment to scientific integrity, has not already fixed the problem and made this backlogged health and safety information available to the public.
You don’t have to release 1,240 reports in a day, but you can release one, and then one tomorrow, and the next day.
By the way, when I searched “EPA Toxic Chemicals” on an image search, Duck Duck Go returned this Intercept article twice on the first line; it was absent on a Google image search.