EPA Wants More Oversight on Chemicals

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Chemicals in everyday items will now be highly regulated due to EPA’s new plan.

Since there are many chemicals found in everyday items such as baby toys and cell phones, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new plan which will evaluate chemicals based on health and safety risks.  This new plan will also give EPA the right to ban or restrict chemicals.  One of the bills would require chemicals used in baby bottles and other children products to be proven safe before they can be released to the public.  According to Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research in Environmental working Group, the system we have currently “assumes that chemicals are innocent until proven guilty”.  However, this new plan will go against the philosophy by checking every chemical.   This new plan will add cost to the reform but it can help reform the chemical industry.  Cal Dooley, president and chief executive of the American Chemistry Council, believes that the reform can help provide confidence in the consumers as well as provide more high-paying jobs.  Although this plan is to benefit the public, Arlene Blum, founder of the Green Science Policy Institute of Berkeley believes that it will be hard to “achieve toxic chemical reform” since many reforms such as climate change and health care faced the same problem as well.  Blum believes that the committee will need a lot of support from the public.

Source: Zito, Kelly. “EPA Wants More Oversight on Chemicals.” San Francisco Chronicle, 30 September 2009. Web. 1 October 2009. <http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/30-2>

Student Researchers: Anna Kung, Shannon Cree, Delana Colvin

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University

Evaluator: Bryan Hanson, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, DePauw University