March 2014 chemicals and health news digest

March 20, 2014 at 9:59 am | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

Chemicals in food packaging | Chemicals leaching into food from packaging raise safety concerns. Scientists in BMJ paper warn of potential long-term damage of exposure to synthetics, including formaldehyde in drinks bottles

Safer Materials | EPA Releases Alternatives Analysis for Thermal Paper, Flame Retardant Chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency has released two alternatives assessments to help companies that want to choose chemicals to substitute for bisphenol A in thermal paper and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) as a fire retardant for plastic.

Flame retardants | Public Health Advocates Find Flame Retardant Fight Follows Familiar Formula. When chemical companies hired Grant Gillham in 2007 to manage a campaign in defense of flame retardants in couches and other consumer goods, Gillham recalled being “assured that the scientific information they had supporting the safety and effectiveness of their products was valid.”

Safer Materials | What will it take to eliminate hazardous chemicals from everyday products? Of the obstacles listed here, of particular interest is the possibility that some brands are insisting on higher performance than they actually need, such as advocating water repellency for fabrics that don’t need it for their intended use.

Product Information | State cosmetic database focused on chemicals falling short of mission. A widely touted state program to give the public more information about harmful chemicals in cosmetics is falling short of its mission, hobbled by a lack of participation from the cosmetics industry, outdated information and a loophole that lets companies keep their ingredients secret.

Pesticide regulation | U.S. proposes new safety rules for farm pesticide use. In response to research suggesting that farmers may have higher rates of some cancers, including leukemia, myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cancers of the lip, stomach, skin, brain, and prostate, the EPA is proposing revisions to the agency’s 22-year-old “Worker Protection Standard”. EPA officials say it will help protect approximately 2 million U.S. farm workers and their families from exposure to pesticides used to protect crops from weeds, insects, and disease.

EDC regulation | Sweden to sue European Commission for delaying hormone-affecting criteria. Sweden’s government is considering suing the European Commission for stalling on criteria which are required to stop hormone-affecting substances, says the minister for the environment, Lena Ek.

General interest | The Scientist Who Took on a Leading Herbicide Manufacturer. The New Yorker publishes a revealing biography of controversial scientist Tyrone Hayes and his research into the pesticide atrazine.

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