Thursday, June 9, 2011

EPA Goes Transparent Again - Removes Confidentiality Claims for 150+ Chemicals

In its continuing efforts to make chemical information more transparent, the USEPA has decided to make public "the identities of more than 150 chemicals contained in health and safety studies that had been claimed confidential by industry."  EPA is taking this, and other actions, to "provide the public with greater access to information on the chemicals that are manufatured and used in the United States."  According to Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention:

“A health and safety study with the chemical name kept secret is completely useless to the public.” 

As expected, the NGO advocacy community responded positively to the announcement, though they would prefer even more information to be released to the public.  The chemical industry, led by the American Chemistry Council, noted that it supported "EPA's mission to promote public understanding of the potential risks posed by chemicals in commerce," but also was concerned that "critical information needed by businesses to innovate and succeed in a competitive international marketplace” needed to be kept confidential."

 More information can be found at the EPA site here.

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