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Confronting Toxics Blog

  • Momentum Builds for Toxics Reform
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on November 17, 2011

    We are really making progress on toxics policy. This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee held a legislative hearing on the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847), introduced last spring by Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ). Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • “Bad Actor” Chemicals Honored at Second Annual Toxies Awards
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 21, 2011

    Picture a Hollywood theater with limos, paparazzi, primping, and acceptance speeches. But instead of honoring Hollywood’s stars and starlets, the Toxies awards honored “bad actor” chemicals in a satiric red-carpet awards show hosted by PSR-LA. Read more »

  • A Collaborative Effort to Protect Public Health: The Work of the National Conversation on Chemical Exposures
    Posted by Shoko Kubotera on April 26, 2011

    The National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures was initiated by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 2009 to make a plan to better protect the public from harmful chemicals. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • Food Essays Posted on Environmental Health Policy Institute
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on February 28, 2011

    Last week we posted essays to the Environmental Health Policy Institute addressing the question: “How does our food production system drive our exposure to toxic chemicals?” Read more »

  • One Little Boy with Asthma
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on February 10, 2011

    Last week, in a small Senate hearing room packed standing-room-only with spectators, Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey opened a session on reforming the outdated, 36-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA, or “Tosca”). Read more »

  • New Toxics Resource: Dr. Denison on “The State of TSCA Reform”
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on January 31, 2011

    Last Wednesday more than 60 people joined us for the first in a series of Confronting Toxics webinars – this one was about the role of the healthcare professional in federal chemicals policy. We were lucky to have Richard Denison, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, as well as Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Director of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition, as presenters. Read more »

  • Why is chemical policy reform so hard to pass? The real priority of the chemical industry
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on November 19, 2010

    Federal chemical policy reform is a health imperative. In this Congress, reform bills were introduced in the Senate and the House addressing some of the most overt failures of our federal chemicals management system. Those bills never made it out of committee. Why didn’t these health-protective bills ever come up for a vote? Did Congress just run out of legislative energy and momentum after the healthcare reform marathon, and the debacle of a failed climate and energy bill? Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Dynamic Partnerships at the Washington Chapter: collaboration is crucial to success
    Posted by Cherie Eichholz on October 20, 2010

    In recent years I have spent a lot of time considering what it is that drives change and in particular, what drives meaningful social and policy change. With the election of Barack Obama many Americans naively thought our country and our world would change overnight, that the policies of the past eight years or longer would be overturned and a new era of progressive thought and action would be initiated. Read more »

  • Cell phone safety
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on October 1, 2010

    Recently I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Devra Davis, a member of PSR’s Environmental Health Policy Institute, speak about her new book, Disconnect: the truth about cell phone radiation, what the industry has done to hide it, and how to protect your family. In addition to learning about the potential health risks of exposure to non-ionizing radiation, I found myself struck with the familiarity of the story, if not the exact content. As cell phones have come into wider and wider use, a vested industry has tirelessly worked to ensure that scientists publish results favorable to its product. Industry attempts to discredit unfavorable results; meanwhile researchers who produce unfavorable results lose their funding, and their jobs. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Environment & Health Ambassadors Program
    Posted by Natasha Ghent-Rodriguez on September 22, 2010

    PSR is hosting a series of trainings for Environment and Health Ambassadors against toxic chemicals (link to training page) around the country. Participating chapters include Oregon, Boston, Maine, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. The ambassador program aims to train physician and public health experts to be advocates for federal chemical reform. Read more »

  • Fixing a toxics “quagmire” at EPA: the role of risk assessment in chemical policy reform
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on September 16, 2010

    If you’ve heard about proposed reforms of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), you may have also heard about a set of recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the nation’s top scientific experts, for assessing chemical safety. Health professionals, environmental groups, and scientific researchers, as well as local community groups around the country, affirm that incorporating the NAS recommendations into TSCA reform is an important step in crafting a chemicals management system that effectively protects human health. In today’s post, I try to explain why we’ve all been talking about this wonky NAS report. Read more »

  • The new face of TSCA
    Posted by Shilpa Gogna on August 16, 2010

    Following Senator Lautenberg’s introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act in April, House Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act 2010, H.R. 5820, a bill that updates the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Read more »

  • A Medical Student for Safer Chemicals
    Posted by Shilpa Gogna on July 26, 2010

    On May 6th, the President’s Cancer Panel issued a report expressing concern over the increasing number of toxics and cancer-causing substances which are being released into the environment. The report called for greater regulation of industrial chemicals as well as increased awareness of the problems associated with their dangers. Read more »

  • Inside the Boardroom of the Chemical Industry
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on July 7, 2010

    Do you sometimes wonder how the chemical industry can be so oblivious to human health considerations? Consider the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA). SOCMA officially opposes the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, introduced by Senator Lautenberg in April, which proposes updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time since its passage in 1976. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Better Living through Chemistry? A radio interview
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 28, 2010

    We depend on chemicals in consumer products to perform as expected, and to be safe. But our regulatory system is not adequately protecting us from potential hazards in our food cans, diapers, shower curtains, baby bottles, and other consumer products. Listen to Washington State PSR President, Dr. Steven Gilbert, a toxicologist, together with pediatric urologist and PSR board member Dr. Rich Grady, discuss chemicals policy in an insightful and illuminating radio interview. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • "Safety prescription from Doctor Dad"
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 22, 2010

    Last week, PSR Maine member Jeff Peterson wrote a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald. As a pediatrician and a father, he wrote about the importance of strong chemical policy reform Read more »

  • A Toxic Brew in the Gulf of Mexico
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on May 6, 2010

    Last month an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 people. The destroyed oil rig is releasing more than 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf each day. This disaster threatens to dwarf the notorious Exxon Valdez spill, which dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into the remote Prince William Sound in 1989. By contrast, the current catastrophe has already leaked over 12 million gallons, according to one environmental group. And the gallons keep pouring out, despite automated robot repair efforts. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Green chemistry: the prevention component of real TSCA reform
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on April 13, 2010

    PSR is a proud partner in the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, which is working to pass smart federal policies to protect us from toxic chemicals. The SCHF coalition has developed a campaign platform that explains the nine components of sound and comprehensive chemicals policy. One of them addresses green chemistry. Read more »

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