Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Endocrine Disruptor Chemical Bill Introduced in House by Ed Markey

Actually, its a reintroduction of a bill he introduced in the last Congress.  Last year it was H.R. 5210 and was glued into another bill that passed in the House, but a companion bill never made it out of Senate committee.  So Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts is trying again in the House.  The idea is to update EPA's current Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.

The new bill, H.R. 553, is called the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Enhancement Act and it would amend the existing regulatory authority, the Safe Drinking Water Act, by:
  • requiring EPA to test non-pesticide chemicals that may be found in drinking water and develop a plan and timetable to identify chemicals to be tested;
  • requiring EPA to periodically review the current state of the science to determine if testing protocols should be revised; and 
  • allow EPA to accelerate the testing of suspected endocrine disruptors and create a petition process that would allow the public to suggest chemicals for accelerated testing.
One problem with the current program (in addition to the fact that it is a decade behind schedule) is that it relies on Tier I studies being done to prioritize those chemicals needing Tier II testing.  Which makes sense except for the fact that EPA doesn't actually know what the Tier II tests will consist of yet.  So one complaint is that you can't possibly know how to prioritize if you don't know what you are prioritizing for!  Still, last November the Agency published a list of 134 "second list" chemicals, 106 of which are found in drinking water.  This is on top of the 67 "first list" chemicals identified in the spring of 2009.

The current bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce chaired by Republican Fred Upton of Michigan.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“The effects of fluoride on various aspects of endocrine function should be examined further, particularly with respect to a possible role in the development of several diseases or mental states in the United States.”
SOURCE: National Research Council. (2006). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. p 224.