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EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 06, 2018 12:42PM
They really ought to be honest and change their name to the Polluters Protection Agency...



During a Senate hearing at the end of January, [Senator] Markey [D-MA] asked Pruitt for an update on the formaldehyde assessment, saying it was his understanding “that the EPA has finalized its conclusion that formaldehyde causes leukemia and other cancers and that [the] completed new assessment is ready to be released for public review, but is being held up."

Now, why would that be?


...internal documents show, a trade group representing businesses...pressed [the EPA] to either keep it under wraps or change its findings.

“As stated in our meeting, a premature release of a draft assessment … will cause irreparable harm to the companies represented by the Panel"...[said] a Jan. 26 letter to top officials at the EPA. The panel represents companies including the Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC that could face higher costs from stricter regulations or lawsuits.

It's worth noting that this is just the first step of the evaluation process. The draft report would then have to be studied and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences, who has actually expressed some skepticism in the past. But the Kochs (and others) don't want it to even get to that stage - they want to strangle this baby in its crib.

Fortunately for the rest of us, we have a new EPA director now,


Andrew Wheeler...[who] also has a history with the chemical. He was staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2004, when his boss, then-Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), sought to delay an earlier iteration of the formaldehyde assessment.

Oh...We're screwed.

sad smiley
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Re: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 06, 2018 01:20PM
Pre-med classes 1990: My teacher warned us the be careful around the dissection-animals because formaldehyde causes cancer and birth defects and in the short-term exposure can cause lung damage and hair loss.

They've known about the risk since at least the 1980s when workers in mortuaries were shown to have many more instances of leukemia and brain cancer than the general population and there were indications that it caused lung cancer, too.

So, WTF has taken so long for the "draft" report to make it this far? Should have had the draft ready in the Reagan administration.

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Re: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 06, 2018 01:40PM
Widespread use, I think.

That should make it more important to devote resources to studying it, in a timely manner, of course, but that's the opposite of how our real world works.

(Also, FYI, the industry has filled this vacuum by paying for studies that (what a surprise!) show no link to cancer).
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Re: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 06, 2018 02:22PM
Obama's fault !

"The Obama administration is making a big health-care mistake. I'm not talking about the final push for comprehensive reform legislation, which is righteous and necessary. I mean the sale of more than 100,000 contaminated trailers and mobile homes -- a move that could make people sick.

The trailers are a legacy of the Bush administration's botched response to Hurricane Katrina. They were purchased by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as temporary housing for displaced Gulf Coast residents, but some people who moved into them reported burning eyes, irritated throats, headaches and nosebleeds.

The Sierra Club began testing the air in some of the trailers in 2006 and found unusually high levels of formaldehyde. The government delayed almost two years, as reports of illness mounted, before declaring in 2008 that all those living in the trailers should move out."
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