EPA Adds to Your Right to Know What’s Coming from That Smokestack

Tom Lent | April 06, 2010 | Newsletter

US EPA proposed today to add 16 chemicals to the Toxic Release Inventory list which identifies the chemicals that companies must report if they send them up their smokestacks, out their sewage lines or into landfills -- the first such addition in over a decade. The 16 are chemicals that have been classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in their Report on Carcinogens (RoC), including several that are persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic (PBT) chemicals, and hence are likely to remain in the environment for a very long time, are not readily destroyed, and may build up or accumulate in the body.

It includes chemicals used in building materials such as 2,2-bis(Bromomethyl)-1,3-propanediol, a chemical you probably have never heard of but may soon again in Pharos since it is used as a flame retardant for epoxy, polyester, & urethane foams.

Coming after EPA's recent decisions to identify chemicals of concern - adding BPA just last week - and to stop letting manufacturers hide chemicals with bad health studies under confidential business information rules, we are starting to see a building pattern of the Agency favoring transparency. Comment on the new rule are open for 60 days.

We like what we see.