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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, July 25, 2016

TSCA Supported by The American Council on Science and Health

Posted on by admin  @ The American Council on Science and Health

President Barack Obama has signed the bipartisan amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which updates the 1976 law for the first time in 20 years.

The amendment was support by organizations like the American Chemistry Council, the American Council on Science and Health and almost the entire chemical industry, because it is more of an evidence-based alternative than other proposals like the Safe Chemicals Act, which was more activism than science.

For that reason, environmentalists were actually critical of this update that gives the Environmental Protection Agency more power, because it would preempt state laws, like California’s California Safer Consumer Products regulation.

But if the concern is public health, then parameters that prioritize chemicals for risk assessment and focus on particular use scenarios, rather than lazily analyzing epidemiology papers and declaring “hazard” as the U.N.’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) does, is going to be a win for everyone.

A patchwork of state laws, paid for by $1 billion in environmental juggernauts, is not protecting Americans. This is a win because it doesn’t lend itself to arbitrary decisions.
It requires:

  • Evaluations of chemicals based purely on the health risks they pose
  • Existing chemicals to be evaluated, with clear and enforceable deadlines, no arbitrary decisions.

My Take - For as long as this has been in the works I've been opposed to it, especially when the American Chemistry Council is in support - or in in support of anything else for that matter.  However, there must have been some tough negotiations over this in support of sound science for the American Council on Science and Health to sign on.  Now it would appear there's going to be a basis for lawsuits against the EPA - or anyone else in government attempting to impose regulations that are not science based. 

However - let's keep in mind we have a law that already requires that very thing.  It called the Information Quality Act passed in 2001, which required government agencies to use the best science available in promulgating regulations -  and it's not done one darn thing to stop any of the depredations of the EPA, the Wildlife Service, the Army Corp of Engineers or any other overreaching governmental agency. 

The American Council on Science and Health petitioned the EPA in 2005 to stop declaring chemicals carcinogenic based on rodent testing alone as this is no longer considered the best science available.  ACSH noted that the law permits EPA “to adopt policies that err on the side of caution when faced with genuinely equivocal evidence regarding a substance's carcinogenicity, but the IQA does not permit EPA to distort the scientific evidence in furtherance of such policies.”

The petition argues that EPA ”distorts scientific evidence through its Guidelines' use of "default options," its purported right -- based not on scientific evidence but its regulatory mission to protect human health -- to assume that tumors in lab rodents indicate that much smaller doses can cause cancer in humans. Erring on the "safe side" in regulatory decisions does not, argues the petition, permit EPA to falsely claim that such regulated substances truly are "likely to be carcinogenic to humans." To do so, argues ACSH, is a distortion of both science and law. “

Finally after months of delays the
EPA formally responded saying “that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” My question was then and is now. If EPA policies aren’t based on scientific fact, what are they based on?

It's clear these agencies could care less about any law that restricts their activism.  Will this be any different?  Petitions don't work-----lawsuits with penalties do!  Who will do it when the time comes - and that time will come - make no mistake about that. 

Posted on by Julianna LeMieux

There has been a lot of talk about the Aedes mosquito since Zika first became widely known. Rarely does a day go by when something about Zika doesn’t make the news. But the same mosquitoes also spread another infection, one that we hear almost nothing about, and it can be far worse than Zika.

The World Health Organization released a situation report last week regarding a yellow fever outbreak in West Africa. This has all of the markings of the next global health emergency, and it may happen very quickly.

Like other mosquito transmitted viral infections, most people who are bitten and contract the virus do not have symptoms. When they do, the symptoms are similar to those of flu: fever, headache, nausea/vomiting, and backache. As you can imagine, yellow fever is frequently mistaken for malaria or any other infection that includes a fever and headache. In most people, yellow fever subsides within three to four days.

However, in a small percentage of patients, there is a second, much more severe wave of the infection that hits a day after the initial set of symptoms passes. In this second wave, the high fever returns, and with it, a wallop to several different organs of the body, most frequently the liver and kidneys. Patients develop jaundice, which gives the skin and eyes a yellow hue — this is where the disease gets its name — dark colored urine, and black vomit. In some, bleeding occurs from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. People who enter this second phase of the disease have a 50 percent chance of surviving. ......Read more

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