Tracking the Environmental Policies of the Trump Administration >>
News from Ground Control: Planet Trump (April 21)
Lawmakers have spent the past two weeks in their home districts, and some have been connecting with their constituents to advocate for common-sense chemical reform.
Last week, New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the chemical 1,4-dioxane, a likely human carcinogen, from personal care products.
Following these lawmakers’ lead, this week EWG released a survey to 500 personal care product manufacturers to ensure they were taking steps to remove the potentially harmful chemical from their products.
“Manufacturers need to be aware of the hazardous substances found in their personal care products,” EWG Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber said of the manufacturer outreach. “American families – especially those with young children – need to know the chemicals they’re exposed to when they wash their hair, cleanse their skin and fill their tubs with bubble bath.”
Here are several of the past week’s deep dives on that and other developments.
The Washington Post, Julier Eilperin (April 16, 2017) EPA Emerges as Major Target After Trump Solicits Policy Advice From Industry
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said his advocacy organization did not comment and has been struggling to keep up with the “overwhelming, pretty much nonstop assault” on rules put in place under Obama. “The big picture is at every turn, once the transition began, every special interest in the country was signaled, ‘Hey, it’s all you can eat,’ ” Cook said.
Teen Vogue, Kaleigh Fasanella (April 17, 2017) Senators Petition to Ban Potentially Cancerous Beauty Products Ingredients
"The health risks posed by exposure to 1,4-dioxane deserve immediate action from the FDA,” said Scott Faber, EWG's senior vice president of government affairs in a statement. "Manufacturers need to be aware of the hazardous substances found in their personal care products. American families — especially those with young children — need to know the chemicals they’re exposed to when they wash their hair, cleanse their skin and fill their tubs with bubble bath.” To set things into motion, the EWG sent out a survey to approximately 500 manufacturers, asking how they intend to strip 1,4-dioxane from their products.
The Daily Beast, Michael Daly (April 21, 2017) Ivanka Preaches Organic, Silent While Dad OKs Toxic Pesticide
As a mom, Ivanka Trump feeds her three kids organic food.
“I try as much as possible,” she has been quoted saying.
But Ivanka Trump is also the president’s daughter and now an official White House adviser. She was silent when the Trump administration gave a last-minute reprieve to a pesticide that was slated for a total ban after more than two dozen scientific studies found it to be a neurotoxin that very likely affects the development of children’s brains, most particularly if the exposure is prenatal.
Mother Jones, Jenny Luna (April 17, 2017) 6 Ways Trump's Administration Could Literally Make America More Toxic
This year, more controversial pesticides are due for agency review, a process that weighs the latest scientific findings with public comment to determine whether the substance can continue to be used—though the White House has the final say. These reviews often lag for many years. And Trump's EPA, with its anti-regulatory bent and a new administrator plucked straight from the chemical-company-allied American Chemistry Council, can further stall the review process in a few ways, for instance by cutting research funding. Or, as Pruitt did last week, ax regulation when the review is in "the eleventh hour," as Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, explained.