Plastic

Major chemical companies have been seeking to block the addition of several new categories of chemicals proposed under the Toxic Substances Control Act by the EPA that the agency says could be a threat to humans and the environment.

The categories include eight phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and bisphenol A (BPA), most commonly found in many types of plastics, and all of which the EPA states “may present an ureasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment.”

Senators Frank. R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have begun to put pressure on the White House to release the complete list, which discussion over began in May 2010.

Sponsoring bill (S. 847) to modernize the TSCA, Lautenberg and Whitehouse, wrote in a Sept. 9 letter to the White House Office of Management & Budget: “As Congress works toward reform of the law, it is important that EPA is allowed to fully utilize its current authorities under TSCA to provide the public with information on chemicals that might pose unreasonable risk.”

According to OMB records, representatives of the chemical industry have met with White House officials at least seven times since June 2010, shortly after the list was proposed. Chemical companies meeting with the OMB include Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobile and trade associations, American Chemistry Council and Flexible Vinyl Alliance.

Despite many scientific studies linking phthalates and bisphenol A with serious health risks including infertility, birth defects, obesity and cancer, the chemical industry representatives argue that placing these compounds on chemicals of concern list would dramatically hurt their businesses and potentially kill American jobs.

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