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Toxics

New Findings On Flame Retardants Likely To Fuel Calls For State Bans

NEW ORLEANS -- New research on the health risks of a set of commonly used flame retardants could accelerate growing efforts by state legislatures to restrict the most widely produced compound in the class, say environmentalists and state officials.

The new findings on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) presented at last week's annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in New Orleans support earlier research that the substances not only accumulate in human tissue at alarming rates but also pose special dangers to children.

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EPA Finds Breast Cancer Link To Three High-Profile Pollutants

EPA research on three high-profile pollutants -- dioxin, atrazine and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) -- suggests a link to the trend of early puberty among U.S. girls, and one agency scientist involved in the studies says the findings may also shed light on breast cancer risk factors.

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ADMINISTRATION URGED TO PUSH FOR MORE METHYL BROMIDE EXEMPTIONS

House Republicans and industry officials are increasing pressure on the Bush administration to urge an international body governing the phaseout of the controversial pesticide methyl bromide to expand the yearly exemptions allowed for using the ozone-depleting substance.

Industry has long sought exemptions for methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, a treaty aimed at protecting the stratospheric ozone layer, because it claims alternatives do not exist and the pesticide is needed to protect crops, such as strawberries.

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EPA DRAFTS RULES FOR FIRST-TIME IMMUNOTOXICITY DATA IN PESTICIDE REVIEWS

EPA and the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) have agreed on updated pesticide testing requirements that will for the first time mandate immune system tests for all new pesticide registrations. The changed requirements, which are expected to be announced this week, would update testing rules that have not been revised for over 20 years.

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LLOYD COMMITS TO AGRIBUSINESS INTERESTS DURING CONFIRMATION

Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd committed to working harder to consider the agriculture industry's economic interests and general concerns relating to environmental regulations, during his confirmation hearing this week by the Senate Rules Committee. The panel approved his confirmation as Cal/EPA secretary, the position Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to in December.

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OMB Targets EPA Rules For Revision To Help Manufacturing Sector

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released a report that lists 38 rules and guidances that it wants revised to reduce the burden on the manufacturing sector. The report is part of a broader administration effort to promote the manufacturing industry, and the report includes a total of 76 federal regulations for reform.

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EPA Drafts Rules For First-Time Immunotoxicity Data In Pesticide Reviews

EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have agreed on updated pesticide testing requirements that will for the first time mandate immune system tests for all new pesticide registrations. The changed requirements, which are expected to be announced this week, would update testing requirement rules that have not been revised for over 20 years.

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EPA SCIENCE ADVISERS SUGGEST GREATER CANCER POTENCY OF C-8

EPA science advisers are recommending that the agency consider elevating its cancer-causing classification of the controversial chemical C-8 and conduct a more thorough review of the substance, which is used to make numerous consumer products.

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ARMY BLASTS STUDY LINKING ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY BULLETS TO CANCER

The Army is dismissing a study published by the National Insitutes of Health that links tungsten in environment-friendly "green bullets" to cancer, saying the study examined the wrong kind of tungsten.

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WOLFOWITZ: DOD RECONSIDERING CUTS TO CHEM DEMIL PROGRAM

The Pentagon is reconsidering proposed funding cuts to chemical demilitarization facilities slated for construction in Kentucky and Colorado, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said March 1.

"We're taking another look at that whole decision to see whether there's maybe a different way," Wolfowitz said at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. However, he added, "there's no question that the costs were . . . going through the roof, and we need to do something about that."

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