Toxic Chemicals in the News: 3/16-3/23

Zoë Furlong March 23, 2015

As part of our continual effort to keep our community informed, we're going to be sharing a weekly digest of news about toxic chemicals that Zoë creates for us here in the office. 

It was a pretty eventful week in the world of toxic chemicals. The main news to keep an eye on is the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) reform drama unfolding on Capitol Hill - these stories have been noted with an asterisk below.

TIME, Mar. 16th, 2015 — The news that BPS is as dangerous as BPA has now made it to TIME magazine. TIME’s tips for reducing BPA exposure? Avoid handling receipts, drink from steel or glass containers (not plastic ones), and don’t microwave your food in plastic containers. I would add “reduce consumption of canned foods” to the list!

Maryland Reporter, Mar. 16th, 2015 — A committee hears a bill to ban pesticides (neonics) implicated in bee deaths. A group of white suited beekeepers (“Beeks”) took over legislative offices last week, passing out honey, to promote their Pollinator Protection Act. 

Civil Eats, Mar. 16th, 2015 — As the E.U. moves to restrict hormone-disrupting chemicals (pesticides), the U.S. government objects. 

News Works, Mar. 17th, 2015 — On Monday New Jersey joins the growing list of states who have enacted a law banning the use of microbeads in personal care products. 

*The Hill, Mar. 18th, 2015 — Sen. Barbara Boxer said she received (by email) a copy of the chemical reform bill that Sens. Tom Udall and David Vitter introduced last week that proves the legislation was created by the chemical industry . . .

“To be 100-percent candid and direct, [Udall's] bill has been generated by the chemical industry itself," said Boxer as reported by Mother Jones. The drama continues . . .

Another article reports that The American Chemistry Council and Dow Chemical immediately sent out press releases touting the benefits of the bill, seeming to back up Boxer’s claim.

Times Argus, Mar. 19th, 2015 — Vermont senate panel discusses toxin reform, debates being able to ban potentially dangerous chemicals from children’s products based on less evidence than before. 

Aiken Standard, Mar. 23rd, 2015  Glyphosate, the most widely-used herbicide in the US, has just been deemed a probable carcinogen by the UN (specifically, the International Agency for Research on Cancer). There is some evidence that glyphosate can cause Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in humans, and convincing evidence that it can also cause other types of cancer in mice and rats. Monsanto disagrees (shocking).

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