The EPA has tested only 200 out of 80,000 potentially toxic chemicals.
In an excellent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer today, Sandy Bauers gives an account of the current state of play when it comes to government responses to public concerns about toxic chemicals.
Here is an interesting quote from what she wrote:
"In December, Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa P. Jackson gave chilling testimony before the Senate committee on environment and public works. She said that while it's the EPA's job to ensure that chemicals used in products are safe, "under existing law, we cannot give that assurance."
Of the 80,000 chemicals used in the United States, the agency has been able to require testing on only about 200 and limited use of only five. "We've only been able to regulate a handful of chemicals, and we know very little about the rest," Jackson said."
It is sobering and terrifying to know that there are 79,800 chemicals out there which have yet to be tested for safety. It is equally disturbing to recognize that most of those chemicals will probably never be tested.
Kudos to Ms. Jackson for being upfront and honest about what the EPA has done, and not done. But...are we meant to sleep soundly in the knowledge that there are tens of thousands of chemicals being used by industry, almost none of which have been tested for safety?
It's time for lawmakers to give the EPA the teeth and authority to do its job.
Read the full article here...
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