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newsies, 31 aug. - 6 sept '97
"Recalls [Digest]." "Auto Wheel-Cleaning Item Is Recalled by
Company [Business Briefs]." Wall Street Journal, 4 September 97,
B8. Washington Post, 4 September 97, E2.
Clorox is recalling Armor All QuickSilver automobile wheel
cleaner. The product contains high levels of ammonium
bifluoride and ammonium fluoride and was recently blamed for
the poisoning death of a child.
"Pittsfield, Massachusetts [Across the USA]." USA Today, 5
September 97, 10A.
General Electric has proposed buying five PCB-contaminated
homes and sealing PCBs in the soil under a three-foot layer
of clean dirt. Once the houses are cleared and the land is
free of PCBs, the land can be used for neighborhood parks.
Following is the July/August edition of EarthLink, a bi-monthly
current awareness newsletter produced by
INFOTERRA/USA. EarthLink provides information on international
environmental activities, publications and
news of interest to EPA staff and other environment
professionals. For more information on these or other
international environment topics, contact INFOTERRA in the EPA
Headquarters library at phone: (202) 260-
5917, fax: (202) 260-3923, or email:
*Compliance and Enforcement*
Hawkins, George S., "Compliance and Enforcement Changes in
Congress and EPA," Natural Resources & Environment, Spring 1997: 42.
The article addresses the future of EPA's enforcement and
compliance activities. The author identifies key
principles of "enforcement first", "risk analysis/cost benefit",
"costs to small parties", which have prompted both
criticism and action in Washington, and examines these in detail.
The article then discusses recent experimental
changes implemented by EPA's Region 1 administrator (which the
author feels encompasses the above principles)
in an effort to achieve a balance between EPA's enforcement
activities, and those of risk analysis and assistance
actions. Lastly, the article reviews the pros and cons about the
consequences of these principles. The author
concludes that EPA must move beyond just achieving a balance
between enforcement and assistance tools, by
examining ways to integrate these activities "as part of a
unified effort," thereby changing the way the agency does
business in the future.
"Polychlorinated Biphenyls: U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Rule
Allowing Imports of PCB's into United States."
International Environmental Reporter, 23 July 1997: 715-716.
"A U.S. federal appeals court July 7 struck down the
Environmental Protection Agency's rule allowing the
importation of polychlorinated biphenyls into the United States
for disposal (Sierra Club v. EPA, CA 9, No. 96-
70223, 7/7/97)." According to the court, the Toxic Substances
Control Act not only bars manufacturing of
PCB's, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects, but
also bans the importation of PCB's. The EPA
claimed that allowing PCB's to be imported and destroyed in
incinerators in the U.S. is safer than letting them
accumulate in other countries. The EPA has the right to appeal.
Karliner, Joshua, and Alba Morales and Dara O'Rourke. "The Barons
of Bromide: The Corporate Forces Behind
Toxic Poisoning & Ozone Depletion." The Ecologist, 27 no. 3
Methyl bromide is a chemical used to kill soil pests but is a
highly-toxic chemical to people. It is also an ozone
depleter. A group of farmers, environmentalists, labor unions,
scientists, public health professionals and others
are currently fighting for methyl bromide to be phased-out
internationally and replaced by sustainable agricultural
practices. But methyl bromide manufacturers and lobbyists are
Jaroff, Leon, "Water Hazard? Finnish Scientists Link Chlorine to
Cancer in Rats," Time, June 30, 1997: 60.
Chlorine has long been used on a large scale for purifying
water, including swimming pools and drinking water
supplies, but new studies now raise questions about its safety.
Scientists in Finland report that laboratory rats
develop cancer when exposed to a compound called MX (produced
when chlorine reacts with organic material in
the water) in large quantities. Chlorine has also been cited by
environmentalists as an ozone destroying substance.
A recent editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute the highest levels of MX in U.S. drinking waters
results in an additional lifetime cancer risk of 2 in 1 million,
and warns against abandoning the use of chlorine in
drinking water too quickly. However, it also encouraged further
investigations into the effects of MX.
"We're Not in the Clear Yet; Endocrine-Threatening Chemicals
Still Abound [Letters]." Washington Times, 30 August 97, A15.
Lynn R. Goldman, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of
Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, writes in
response to the August 22 editorial "The Disaster That
Wasn't." She disputes the editorial's implication that the
withdrawal of the Tulane University's paper "eliminated the
scientific basis for regulatory concern over
endocrine-disrupting chemicals. But scientific and
regulatory realities are not that simple." She notes that
EPA has commissioned a National Academy of Sciences review
of the literature, plus other investigative actions EPA is
taking, such as establishing the Endocrine Disruptor
Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC). "In
closing, honest and open debate of research results is key
if we are to improve scientific understanding. Similarly,
honest and open public dialogue is essential for the
development of effective public policy regarding
EICAction - Friday, Sept. 5, 1997
New Attack on the Public's Right-to-Know Remains in FDA Reform Bill
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA, was on the Senate floor on Friday, Sept. 5, trying
to block an attack on the public's right-to-know. Kennedy used a delaying
attack involving endless debate (a "filibuster") to try to hold up a bill
which would change the way the federal Food and Drug Administration does
business. Language buried in the bill would overturn state laws such as
California's Proposition 65, which requires the disclosure of pesticides and
other toxic chemicals in any product sold on the open market. Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott, R-MS, forced the FDA bill to the floor by an 89-5 vote
("invoking cloture"). Debate now continues, with a final vote set for 5 p.m.
Monday on the FDA bill and the right-to-know rollback.
Great Lakes Area Gets New Info on Sources of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
Part II of the Environmental Information Center's Great Lakes Endocrine
Disrupter Report was released to reporters in the region this week at press
events in several states. The new report names the factories in states
bordering on the Great Lakes that release the most hormone-disrupting
chemicals into the environment. Worst culprits: the plastics, chemical, and
boat repair industries. Research has linked consumption of chemically
contaminated Great Lakes fish by pregnant women to neurological problems in
their infants. Most participants in the Great Lakes listserver should have
received a copy by mail; if you have not and would like one, please contact
Shana Glickfield at (202) 887-8823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.