Another U.S. Government Struggle: Banning Toxic Chemicals

Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers
Get The Legal Guidance You Need to Take Back Your Life Today …Without Spending a Single Cent!
No Win – No Fee – No Risk
March 2023

Big Loss of Childcare Providers Post Pandemic

Before the pandemic, the number of child care providers in the U.S. was already declining. Three years later and the problem is worse. Between December 2019 and March 2021, over 8,800 child care centers closed, and almost 7,000 licensed family child care programs ended. Years of low wages and lack of benefits have resulted in severe staffing shortages for child care programs. And many child care providers that temporarily closed during the pandemic, or had to lay off staff members, have not had the financial resources to reopen. Some that remain struggle to provide a safe, healthy environment.

Another U.S. Government Struggle: Banning Toxic Chemicals

10-16-23
Did you know that asbestos, a toxic chemical, caused its first known death in 1906? Shockingly, court documents from the 1970s revealed that industry officials were well aware of the dangers since the 1930s, yet deliberately concealed this information from the public. Although asbestos mining was eventually halted in the US in 1983, it’s astonishing that this hazardous substance, along with countless other toxic chemicals, is still not banned in our country. A recent report uncovers a distressing history of failure by regulators and lawmakers, exposing the priorities of profit-hungry industry giants who put their employees’ and customers’ health at risk.

Industry Cripples EPA Efforts to Ban Toxic Chemicals

Data shows100 metric tons of asbestoswere imported to the U.S. for chlorine production.Asbestos is only one of many toxic substances that cause great harm and are banned by other countries but not in the United States. These chemicals include flame retardants that can damage fetal development and disrupt thyroid hormones and a degreaser that contaminated an entire neighborhood, causing a devastating number of cancer cases in children.So why are these chemicals still allowed and used in the United States? Anew investigation from ProPublicaexposes an ineffective, underfunded regulatory system that is more than happy to bow to industry pressure. Here’s how we’re losing the fight against toxic chemicals:

The Chemical Industry Helped Write the Toxic Substances Law

The Toxic Substances Control Act was first enacted in 1976 and gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to ban or restrict toxic chemicals. However, industry leaders wereclosely involvedin drafting the law, leading to lax oversight and over 60,000 potentially dangerous chemicals still on the market. The language of the law also required the EPA to always choose regulations that were the “least burdensome” to companies.

The EPA Employs Chemical Industry Insiders as Regulators

The EPA often hires scientists and top officials from the companies it regulates, which allows the industry to influence the agency’s science and regulatory powers. According to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, one glaring example is the case of a toxicologist and lawyer hired by the EPA three separate times to help assess the risks of certain chemicals. Before joining the EPA, he worked for the companies that produced some of these chemicals and argued at one point that people could be safely exposed to a flame retardant at doses more than 500 times higher than the EPA standard. There are many more examples of this revolving door between industry and the EPA.

BY THE NUMBERS

2005

Asbestos was banned across the European Union by 2005, almost 20 years ago. 

VIDEO BOOKMARK

Effects of Inhaled Asbestos Fibers

This video is a good primer on the dangers of long-term asbestos exposure.

DISPOSING OF TOXIC CHEMICALS

You can reduce the risk of toxic substances in the ground or drinking water by disposing of household chemicals properly.