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Congress Poised to Revise Law Regulating Chemicals Used in Commercial Products – July 16, 2015

Will the bills seeking to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act really protect Americans?

If you think every chemical used in every consumer product on our store shelves has been tested and deemed safe, think again. If you think current laws in the United States explicitly prohibit the use of some of the most hazardous chemicals, such as asbestos, in consumer products, think again.

crayonsPhoto by Laura Gilmore Asbestos in kids crayons — what’s TSCA reform got to do with it?

Last week, new test reports released by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund found asbestos in children’s crayons. This is alarming, given that even small amounts of asbestos exposure can cause serious and even… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Five Years after the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Oil Spills Are on the Rise – April 19, 2015

Offshore and onshore, oil and gas operations and transportation appear no safer than before

Five years after the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico sparked national outrage, oil spills remain a routine occurrence across the United States. Yet many receive little — if any — national attention. The enormity and unprecedented scale of the BP disaster demanded a federal emergency response and captured daily headlines for months. But oil spills and pipeline ruptures occur daily – as they have nearly every day since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010. While many are relatively small in comparison, they still pose threats to public safety, health, and the environment.  

Deepwater HorizonPhoto by Ideum… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Whither the Northwest Forest Plan? – March 20, 2015

US Forest Service launches process to revise landmark public lands management plan. Greens fear rollbacks.

The US Forest Service insists that nothing has been decided upon. “Absolutely not,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Rob MacWhorter as the first of three scheduled “listening sessions” on the Forest Service’s process to revise the Northwest Forest Plan got underway in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday evening. But environmental advocates fear otherwise and are expressing concern that changes to the landmark forest management plan will jeopardize conservation goals.

A northern spotted owlPhoto by Ivana DramacBest known for its intent to protect the spotted owl, the Northwest Forest Plan also covers land that provides key habitat for other imperiled, forest-dependent species, including the… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution – March 4, 2015

The risks of a highly centralized food system

By now there has been a steady stream of news about climate change’s impacts on food production. Heat waves, drought, and wildfire are damaging harvests in California, Australia and Brazil. Warming and acidifying oceans threaten seafood stocks. Rising temperatures are causing declines in crops as different as wheat and cherries, while extreme precipitation and floods have destroyed crops across the US and Europe. Increasing temperatures and CO2 levels are reducing the nutritional value of grasses and increasing heat stress, in the process impairing animals’ ability to produce eggs, meat, and milk.

BJ�s Wholesale Club, Merritt Island FLphoto by more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Thirty Years Later, Victims of Bhopal Gas Disaster Are Still Waiting for Justice – December 3, 2014

Meanwhile, millions of Americans too, remain at risk from toxic chemicals

Around midnight on the eve of December 3, 1984, a toxic gas called methyl isocyanate (MIC) that’s used in chemical manufacturing began leaking from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. There were no alarm systems in place. Devices that that might have curtailed or stopped the chemical leak were not running and more than 40 tons of the deadly gas quickly spread over the city, exposing half a million or more people. At least 8,000 people were killed immediately by the gas, which causes pulmonary edema and other acute respiratory effects. Some 20,000 have died since as a result of this chemical exposure, making Bhopal what’s considered the worst… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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