Administrator Jackson made a pretty bold statement last night in Cali. EPA will be looking into 6 chemicals that are of particular concern and many states have begun to take action in reducing, eliminating, and regulating.
Environmental Health News stated:
"Jackson said the EPA is gathering data from industry on the six chemicals so the agency can assess their safety and develop action plans with firm deadlines to limit exposure. The EPA may restrict their use or require labels on consumer products to warn of risks. The agency already has such authority under the existing law, she said.
The EPA will start with the six high-profile chemicals, then add more. EPA officials said they will post four "chemical action plans" in December describing how they will handle the initial compounds, and then post plans for more chemicals in four-month intervals.
Some 80,000 chemicals—some of them widely used in consumer products--are in commerce today, and some lack detailed health and safety data. Jackson said the agency and the manufacturers will review and act on chemicals with the highest priority in a timely manner.
“As more and more chemicals are found in our bodies and the environment, the public is understandably anxious and confused. Many are turning to government for assurance that chemicals have been assessed using the best available science, and that unacceptable risks haven’t been ignored,” Jackson told an audience of several hundred people during a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
An audience member asked if the EPA would add the right of citizens to sue for non-compliance of the law, a provision that lies within the Clean Water Act.
“That’s a great idea,” she said, and “it was certainly something to consider.”
She credited citizens and states with taking their own steps to manage industrial chemicals, and said it differentiated new environmentalism from old environmentalism.
“The power of citizenry should never be ignored,” she said. For example, mothers of infants concerned about chemical exposure have prompted many manufacturers to produce BPA-free baby bottles."
This is a great sign, but we must not forget that regardless of the champions we have in office, we must participate in helping to reduce toxic chemicals from our bodies, the products we buy, and the earth.