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Toxics

U.S. Weighs Delaying Methyl Bromide Phase-Out By Trimming Halon Supplies

The Bush administration is evaluating a plan to slow the phase-out of the controversial pesticide methyl bromide by destroying stockpiles of the ozone-depleting fire suppressant halon, a plan that proponents say could offset any harm from continued use of the pesticide, according to government and other sources.

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Pentagon Readies Studies On Targeting Sources Of Perchlorate Pollution

The Defense Department is preparing to start funding a series of studies aimed at identifying the growing range of non-military sources of perchlorate, which could help limit the military's cleanup liability of the ubiquitous contaminant.

Some researchers are also working to distinguish between manmade and naturally occurring forms of the widespread groundwater contaminant, and to understand how the chemical forms under natural conditions.

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Industry Asks OMB To Allow Increased Input On Pesticide Data Rule

The pesticide industry met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last month seeking increased participation in the development of forthcoming EPA revisions to requirements for data that underlie decisions on pesticide registrations, according to an industry source.

"To a certain extent, federal agencies have to maintain the process closed [when drafting rules] but we are hoping to provide the agency with our experience with the studies" that must be sent to EPA to support pesticide registration decisions, the industry source says.

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EPA Eyes First Rules For High-Volume Chemicals Based On New Data

EPA has laid out a major expansion of its effort to compile toxicity data on high-volume chemicals -- announcing plans for more test rules and opening the door to including more chemicals in the program -- while signaling a shift toward developing first-time regulations based on information gathered by the program, according to sources involved in the effort.

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EPA Science Panel Backs Software That May Sharpen Risk Reviews

EPA science advisors have given their preliminary blessing to software for gauging pesticide exposure whose designers as well as agency and industry sources claim has the potential to revamp exposure assessments for any number of chemical toxins by eliminating the need for safety factors.

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Lack Of Study Funds May Clear The Way For Widely Used Pesticide

Industry research used to justify an updated EPA risk assessment for the widely used pesticide dimethoate has drawn skepticism at a meeting of the agency's Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), but neither industry nor EPA is willing to fund further studies, prompting observers at the meeting to predict that the proposed risk assessment will escape major revisions.

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EPA Eyes First Rules For High-Volume Chemicals Based On New Data

EPA has laid out a major expansion of its effort to compile toxicity data on high-volume chemicals -- announcing plans for more test rules and opening the door to including more chemicals in the program -- while signaling a shift toward developing first-time regulations based on information gathered by the program, according to sources involved in the effort.

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Pentagon Readies Studies On Targeting Sources Of Perchlorate Pollution

The Defense Department is preparing to start funding a series of studies aimed at identifying the growing range of non-military sources of perchlorate, which could help limit the military's cleanup liability of the ubiquitous contaminant.

Some researchers are also working to distinguish between manmade and naturally occurring forms of the widespread groundwater contaminant, and to understand how the chemical forms under natural conditions.

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EPA TO SIGNAL SCOPE OF FUTURE CONTROLS ON FLAME RETARDANTS

EPA is poised to issue a regulation that should provide long-awaited clues about how extensively the agency plans to regulate a class of commonly used flame retardants that have raised serious health concerns and prompted bans in several states, say environmentalists and sources with state lawmakers.

The agency is expected any day to issue a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act for penta-brominated diphenyl ethers, a flame retardant substance used mainly in furniture foam, according to agency representatives.

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WHITE HOUSE PLANS NEW REPORT SHOWING PROGRESS ON DIOXIN

A White House science official in a surprise move announced plans to release a report on dioxin in an apparent attempt to show administrative progress on monitoring and controlling for the highly controversial pollutant. But the move has already drawn protests from environmentalists who say development of the report will likely further delay release of EPA's dioxin risk review, which has been 13 years in the making.

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