July 14, 2014 Elizabeth Grossman 3Comment

What do these places have in common: Camp Lejeune in North Carolina; Mountain View, California, where Google headquarters are located; Endicott, NY – the birthplace of IBM; and 389 Superfund sites in at least 48 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? All are contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogenic solvent. TCE’s health hazards are well-documented. So why are Republicans rushing to condemn EPA’s just-completed TCE risk assessment?

March 11, 2014 Elizabeth Grossman 3Comment

While the Senate is pressing the EPA to prevent future chemical disasters, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would, if enacted, make it harder for the public to obtain information about chemical hazards, either in industrial storage tanks or consumer products. While state and local governments – and many manufacturers – are responding to growing public is demand for safer chemicals and more information about chemicals used in products – industry trade associations are promoting legislation that appears to counter that progress.

September 2, 2009 The Pump Handle

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts) compiles an inventory of nanotech-enabled consumer products, and they recently announced that they’ve identified 1,000 nano products. Given the many concerns about effects of nanoparticles on workers’ health, human tissues, and even our water supply, […]

August 21, 2009 The Pump Handle 6Comment

Three physicians and researchers from the Capital University of Medical Sciences (Beijing, China) have published a case report in the European Respiratory Journal describing severe lung disease in seven female workers employed at a shop where they applied polyacrylic coatings to polystyrene boards.  The lung disease is just one part of the story—two of the women died (ages […]

May 1, 2009 The Pump Handle

University of Maryland Law Professor Rena Steinzor called for fundamental changes to the role of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in federal regulatory review, at a House Committee hearing held on April 30.  The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the Committee on Science and Technology has been examining OIRA’s functions and responsibilities, with the chairman stating: “…Though […]

February 10, 2009 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Cross-posted from CPR Blog, by Rena Steinzor We’ve written a great deal about Cass Sunstein, the Harvard law professor who is expected to get the nod to be the “regulatory czar” for the Obama Administration.   In a nutshell, our concern is that Sunstein will stifle the efforts of health, safety, and environmental protection agencies to […]

January 28, 2009 The Pump Handle 3Comment

By Jerome Paulson Starting on February 10th, companies won’t be able to sell children’s products that contain more than 600 parts per million total lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently clarified the requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and put to rest the fear that thrift stores and consignment stores would have to […]

November 11, 2008 The Pump Handle

Members of the media are gravely enumerating all the challenging circumstances that President-Elect Obama faces (financial collapse, two wars, global climate disruption, etc), so it’s worth noting that this is also a tough time for product safety. Recent problems with lead in children’s toys, contaminated food, and tainted drugs have demonstrated how many holes exist […]