Congress mandated a review of how dangerous chemicals are manufactured and stored. Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt don’t want to do anything that might actually result in regulation of dangerous chemicals. How to make these two things work together? The Associated Press details how they intend to intentionally ignore most of the problem.
Instead of following President Barack Obama’s proposal to look at chemicals already in widespread use that result in some of the most common exposures, the new administration wants to limit the review to products still being manufactured and entering the marketplace.
Which means that chemicals that are already present across America—made in American plants, stored in American towns, shipped to American homes—get a free pass. That includes thousands of existing products that are known toxins. It even includes millions of tons of cancer-causing asbestos.
“Hundreds of thousands of firefighters are going to be affected by this. It is by far the biggest hazard we have out there,” said Patrick Morrison, assistant general president for health and safety at the International Association of Fire Fighters. “My God, these are not just firefighters at risk. There are people that live in these structures and don’t know the danger of asbestos.”
Asbestos exposure costs the lives of thousands of firefighters each year, and it’s just one of the many chemicals that the Trump “review” won’t review. Which seems ridiculous … because it is.
Lawmakers say the review was intended to be the first step toward enacting new regulations needed to protect the public. But critics – including health workers, consumer advocates, members of Congress and environmental groups – contend ignoring products already in use undermines that goal.
But someone certainly likes Trump’s approach—that someone being the lobbying group American Chemistry Council.