Senate Action on the Safe Chemicals Act July 24, 2012Posted by Nancy Hepp in breaking news.
Tags: chemical regulation, Safe Chemicals Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, TSCA
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Director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center
On Wednesday, July 25th, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will vote on an improved version of the Safe Chemicals Act, an act that reforms the current set of federal regulations, the Toxic Substances Control Act, which governs toxic chemicals production and use. TSCA entered into force in 1976, and as recent articles in the Chicago Tribune point out, is in need of being brought up to date to reflect current scientific knowledge about the capacity of toxic chemicals to compromise the health and safety of humans and ecosystems. This new version is the result of many months of discussions among key stakeholders and represents a major step forward in balancing stakeholder interests and concerns. Richard Denison from the Environmental Defense Fund provides an overview of the Safe Chemicals Act in his recent blog post, A pivotal moment for TSCA reform.
Fracking and Low Birth Weight: Preliminary Evidence July 21, 2012Posted by Nancy Hepp in breaking news.
Tags: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, low birth weight
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Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
In an important development in the debate about health risks associated with fracking for natural gas, Elaine Hill, a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, has carried out a detailed analysis of certain birth outcomes in Pennsylvania, before and after fracking began. She used a “difference-in-difference” study design, which enabled her to compare outcomes in two groups of people:
- Group 1: People living prescribed distances from a location where a well had been permitted but never drilled
- Group 2: People living the same distances from a location where a well had been permitted and subsequently drilled
She compared birth outcomes in groups 1 and 2 before and after any wells were drilled.