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USA: Whistleblower warning on chemical assessments

Whistleblowers say the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been falsifying dangerous new chemicals’ risk assessments in an effort to make the compounds appear safe and quickly approve them for commercial use.

Over the past five years, the EPA has not rejected any new chemicals submitted by industry despite agency scientists flagging dozens of compounds for high toxicity. Four EPA whistleblowers and industry watchdogs say a revolving door between the agency and chemical companies is to blame, and that the program’s management has been “captured by industry”.

Four EPA whistleblowers and industry watchdogs say a revolving door between the agency and chemical companies is to blame, and that the programme’s management has been “captured by industry”. The non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is representing the four scientists. The charges also reveal how management has systematically undermined scientists while working to quickly rubber-stamp dangerous chemicals as safe for use by industry and in consumer products. The alterations to risk assessments mostly involved the deletion of health hazards without the authors’ knowledge after assessments were submitted.
Read more: PEER news release and complaint [pdf]. The Guardian. Source: Risks 1012

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