Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 07:53:42 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Wright, Mike" <mwright**At_Symbol_Here**USW.ORG>
Subject: Re: Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act of
In-Reply-To: A

This whole area is an excellent example of why we need comprehensive TSCA reform, which is also unlikely in this Congress. But until we have a fair and impartial process for assessing the safety of chemicals in the workplace and in commerce, and efficiently taking regulatory action where appropriate,  we can expect the whole issue to be handled by piecemeal legislation on specific chemicals at the federal and state levels, not to mention lawsuits, and by the actions of consumers who don’t trust the industry or the government to look out for their safety.

Just a note about “scientific consensus.” Science is inherently and properly conservative. That’s why we demand that experiments be replicated, and require a p-value of .05 or better in our statistics. And sadly, there are plenty of examples of powerful interests manipulating research findings to create doubt and block a consensus, or at least the appearance of one – i.e. climate change. But regulators need to act when there is a significant possibility of harm, not when there is a full scientific consensus. I’ve read much of the research on BPA, and I recognize the lack of consensus, but I tossed out my kids’ polycarbonate drinking bottles a couple of years ago. The public rightly wants protection based on a reasonable assurance of safety, not a “scientific consensus” of harm.  We could have acted on asbestos decades earlier than we did, but the producers argued that there was no scientific consensus, and did everything in their power to block one. We all know the cost in human life.

I should say that my union represents workers who make BPA, workers who make BPA-based resins and polymers, and cans with BPA-based linings. They are concerned about their jobs, but like all of us they are concerned about their families’ health most of all. And we’ve learned that the best way to protect jobs in the long run is to manage an efficient transition to safer products. When the major can companies approached us to defend BPA we told them that we couldn’t and wouldn’t assure our members or the public that it was safe, and that their best course of action was to research alternative can linings. One way or another, BPA will eventually be phased out of applications where it can leach into food or drink, most likely through a messy process of conflicting state laws coupled with consumer mistrust. Far better to do it through a fair, efficient and protective chemical safety law.  

Mike Wright

Michael J. Wright

Director of Health, Safety & Environment

United Steelworkers

5 Gateway Center

Pittsburgh, PA 15228


Office: 412-562-2580

Cell:     412-370-0105

Fax:     412-562-2584


< p class="MsoNormal">

Visit Steelworker Health, Safety and Environment on the web at

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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Alan Hall
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2011 4:50 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act of 2011

This whole area has for years been more media hype and popular uninformed hysteria than science.  Double-headed frogs, mutant alligators, etc. and the whole rather debatable issues of decreasing sperm counts (like we need more people on this finite-resource planet when we may have already exceeded its "carrying capacity"?) are not issues that should be ignored, but neither should they be areas for vote-generating hype and hysteria without solid science and peer review (not just some limited and perhaps politically-appointed "expert panels'" review and the arbitrary decisions of NIEHS), but rather that of a consensus of the scientific community overall.  This comes to a vote, I know at least one ACS member who'll be contacting his elected representatives to vote for a resounding "Nay".
For all the faults of the current situation in Washington, DC, I'd guess this is a non-issue, but one which D-CHAS and ACS members should be aware of.
All of us are, I think, committed to making the environment in which we, our families, and our children's children can "live long and prosper", but hype, "junk science", and arbitrary decisions based on politically correct expediency have no place in the process.
Me must all collectively be "The Voices of Reason."
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist
Laramie, WY
Clinical Assistant Professor
Colorado School of Public Health
University of Colorado-Denver
Denver, CO 

Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2011 11:57:16 -0500
From: gla**At_Symbol_Here**EHSSTRATEGIES.COM
Subjec t: Re: [DCHAS-L] Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act of 2011
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

ACS has a position statement on endocrine disruptors: rue&_pageLabel=PP_SUPERARTICLE&node_id=2226&use_sec=fal se&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=4d680e34-14f1-4a22-83cb-64f7716 d6e26

I very much doubt ACS would go further than this or would be ready to support such a bill, other than to support further research into a still controversial area.  Ray Garant, Assistant Director of Public Policy and CEI Staff Liaison, may also want to comment.

Further, my bias is strongly toward the public notice and comment rulemaking process and I would lobby against any kind of automatic ban authority being delegated to a small group of government employees.  Bans (and even black-listing) entail major costs and benefits considerations that require input from all affected stakeholders.

Disclosures: I'm on the ACS Committee for Environmental Improvement, teach a course on environmental regulations at the Univ of Minnesota and am a business consultant, specializing in TSCA and product stewardship.

Georjean Adams

EHS Strategies, Inc.

On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 9:59 PM, ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

This is a fascinating paradigm shift, although I would be genuinely surprised if such legislation could make it  out of committee, let alone through the House.   Does the ACS have a position on this or is it too hot an issue for them to touch given the ACC's strong opposition?

 < /o:p>

Rob Toreki

 < /o:p>

See x.html?hpt=hp_t2 and the current version of the as-yet-unsubmitted bill at e.disrupting.chemicals.exposure.elimination.act.of.2011-jun.24.pdf

 < /o:p>

Bill would let federal health researchers ban certain chemicals< /span>

 < /o:p>

(CNN) -- A new bill could alter the landscape of chemical regulation in the United States by empowering researchers to take swift action against the most potentially harmful chemicals in use today.

 < /o:p>

The bill, to be introduced later this month, would give the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and a panel of experts selected by the director, the power to ban up to 10 chemicals from commerce each year by categorizing them as being of high concern.

 < /o:p>

Those chemicals would become unlawful to use 24 months after receiving that designation.

 < /o:p>

Among the chemicals that could be subject to a ban is bisphenol A, or BPA, a hormone-disrupting substance widely used in plastics that has been the target of controversy in recent months.

 < /o:p>

The bill is to be introduced by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, later this month.

 < /o:p>

The fate of the legislation, though, is far from certain. It will have to make its way through committee in both the Republican-controlled House and the Senate, where Democrats have a small majority.

 < /o:p>

CNN received an advance copy of the bill*, called the Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act of 2011, which has a self-executing statute under which the listing of high concern by the NIEHS automatically would outlaw the chemical or class of chemicals, and would require each regulatory agency to take action to prohibit the chemical.

 < /o:p>

*Editor's note: This is an advanced draft of the bill. It could change before being introduced.

 < /o:p>

If the bill were to become law, the NIEHS, a part of the National Institutes of Health, could have chemicals outlawed much sooner than otherwise possible...

 < /o:p>

(much more in the rest of the article; see link above).

 < /o:p>

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