Friday, January 26, 2007

Controlling Toxics?

While researching regulation and toxicology of nanomaterials for a post on this page, I was directed towards the following report produced by Environmental Defense: “Toxic Ignorance: The continuing absence of basic health testing for top-selling chemicals in the United States.

Interesting reading which discusses the gaps in the U.S. EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). According to the EPA, TSCA was “enacted by Congress to give EPA the ability to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals currently produced or imported into the United States. EPA repeatedly screens these chemicals and can require reporting or testing of those that may pose an environmental or human-health hazard. EPA can ban the manufacture and import of those chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk.”

Environmental Defense’s 1997 report suggests that sufficient human health and environmental toxicity data exists for only a relatively small percentage of chemicals, (even those produced in high volume). More recently Environmental Defense points to recent progress by EPA and industry towards addressing data gaps.

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