International news

US: regulation of chemical risks in jeopardy

Since the election of Donald Trump in the White House, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shifted its policy focus towards reducing the 'regulatory burden' on the chemical industry. Public health and occupational health have been sacrificed for the benefit of business interests.

Current EPA policy is chipping away at the hierarchy of prevention measures. Instead of eliminating the risks at source when safer alternatives exist, the EPA now considers a ban as just one of many possible measures, and that in some cases simple mitigation of the risks could be enough. An example of this is the withdrawal of the planned ban of a solvent used as a paint-stripper: dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride). Tens of thousands of workers are exposed to it, despite it being highly toxic and the cause of many deaths each year. Use of DCM in most of its applications - including paint-stripping - has been  banned in the European Union since 2010. (Note it is not banned in Australia, but has an exposure standard, TWA of 50ppm).
Source: HesaMag#20, ETUI

Share Tweet

RELATED

HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT? ADDRESS MANAGER STRESS
A large study from Denmark has shown that managers can ‘transmit’ the stress they experience to their workers, the effects of which were detected a year later and took two more years...
Read More
$2 MILLION FOR COLLAPSE THAT KILLED CHRISTOPHER CASSANITI
Scaffolding company, Synergy Scaffolding Services, has been fined $2 million over a ‘catastrophic’ collapse at a Sydney construction site, when overloaded scaffolding gave way. The 18-year-old apprentice was trapped directly underneath, as...
Read More
USA: AMAZON SAFETY HEAD THROWS IN THE TOWEL
Amazon hired Heather McDougall in 2019 as the top executive overseeing workplace health and safety.
Read More