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Toxic Chemicals in the News: 4/6-4/13

Zoë Furlong April 13, 2015

U.S. News, Apr. 4, 2015 — A bill is working its way through Congress with the awkward name of the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act." Despite the presence of the words “chemical safety” in its name, this bill appears designed to delay and drag out the process of testing chemicals to determine their safety.

Baltimore Sun, Apr. 7, 2015 — This past week, environmental and health advocates across the country delivered petitions with 135,000 signatures asking Walgreens to phase out toxic chemicals in products.

Star Tribune, Apr. 7, 2015 — An odorless pesticide (methyl bromide) sprayed at a Caribbean resort has left three members of a Delaware family who had stayed at the resort hospitalized for weeks. They began having seizures and fell into comas during their Virgin Islands vacation.

CBS Moneywatch, Apr. 7, 2015 — Retailers like Dollar Tree have recently been cited in CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) inspections for selling children's products with excessive levels of lead (lead is virtually banned from such products) and excessive phthalates.

Food Poisoning Bulletin, Apr. 8, 2015 — Environmental Working Group (EWG) has launched a petition to remove propyl paraben, an endocrine disruptor, from the country’s food. This preservative is in 49 processed foods, including Sara Lee cinnamon rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, and more. Propyl paraben has been linked to decreased male fertility. Read more: Are you eating a hormone disruptor? Propyl paraben found in nearly 50 name-brand foods.

New York Times, Apr. 8, 2015 — A study finds that neonicotinoids*, a class of pesticides implicated in honeybee deaths and colony collapse syndrome, may be more damaging to ecosystems than originally thought.

Chemical Watch, Apr. 9, 2015 — On April 14th, a House of Representatives subcommittee will hold a hearing on a new discussion draft of proposals for reforming TSCA. Entitled the TSCA Modernization Act, the discussion draft is being put forward by the subcommittee’s chair, John Shimkus (R-Illinois).

The Charlotte Observer, Apr. 9, 2015 — Following letters and petitions from environmental groups, Lowe’s Home Improvement said Thursday it plans to phase out products that contain neonicotinoid* pesticides.

*Neonicotinoids are absorbed by a plant so that the neurotoxic poison spreads throughout its tissues, including the sap, nectar and pollen. Far more deadly to insects than to mammals, they do not discriminate between harmful pests and beneficial pollinators.

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