RTKnet: Issues

Our environmental right-to-know involves a broad range of issues, from how to respond to chemical emergencies to protecting the quality of our drinking water to ways we can be active in our democracy, and much more.

NRDC Sues FDA for 30 Year Delay in Regulating Antimicrobials (NRDC)

The NRDC sued the FDA because the agency failed to finalize a 32 year old document that would regulate the use of triclosan and triclocarban, which are widely used and unregulated despite potential health risks, in hand soaps and body washes. The FDA revealed that these chemicals are minimally effective and data from

(28 Jul 2010)

EPA Puts New Focus on Environmental Justice (CNN)

In a letter to EPA staffers, Administrator Lisa P. Jackson issued interim guidance over the integration of environmental justice into agency decision-making, rule development, and scientific analysis. Jackson stated, "Dirty air, polluted water, and contaminated lands have significant impacts on the health and economic possibilities of the people who live in overburdened communities."

(27 Jul 2010)

Disputed Chemical Bisphenol-A Found in Paper Receipts (The Washington Post)

The EWG reported that researchers found Bisphenol-A on 40 percent of receipts collected from automated teller machines, supermarkets, gas stations, and chain stores, which could explain why the chemical can be detected in approximately 93 percent of Americans' urine. According to the EWG, "We've come across potentially major sources of BPA in our daily could be getting all kinds of exposure and not realize it."

(27 Jul 2010)

House Committee To Hold Hearing On Public Access To Publicly Funded Research (Alliance for Taxpayer@ccess)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census, and National Archives will hold a public hearing to discuss the potential impact of disclosing the results of more than $60 billion of government funded scientific research, which would be required under the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).

(27 Jul 2010)

Urban Air Pollutants May Damage Unborn Babies' IQs (Environmental Health News)

Recent studies of over 400 women in New York City and Krakow have found that 5 year olds exposed in the womb to above-average levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are created from the burning of fossil fuels, score lower on IQ tests. A pregnant woman involved in the New York City study asserted, "It’s scary and alarming that we can live in a society where these things are happening and they go unnoticed."

(26 Jul 2010)

Polluters Pay for Testing, Leaving The Public in The Dark (Delaware Online)

Federal government regulators have allowed polluters to hire private contractors to test the environmental impacts of 35 landfills, spill areas, and problem zones in the Delaware City Refinery to save money. The results of these studies are frequently withheld from the public. According to the former New Jersey state environmental regulator, "The cleanup contractors are working for the polluter and there's not much accountability...The public is almost completely cut out of the loop."

(26 Jul 2010)

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Label Genetically Modified Foods! (Grassroots Network)

The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (HR 5577) calls for the labeling of genetically engineered food, which may negatively impact health. Potential risks of consuming genetically engineered food include birth defects, sterility, and "horizontal gene transfer," among other adverse effects.

(22 Jul 2010)

Release of North American Pollution Data Reveals Significant Reporting Gaps (CEC)

The CEC released Taking Stock Online, which contains the latest integrated data set from North America's pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) with a database of over 500 toxic substances and nearly 100 major industrial sectors. The data reveal gaps in the tracking of industrial pollution, such as the exemption of the oil and gas extraction sector and the public water wastewater treatment sector and deficiencies in pollution reporting from mining.

(22 Jul 2010)

How Safe Are Your Cosmetics? New Bill Wants to Find Out (AOL News)

If passed, the newly introduced Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 will be the first piece of legislation to give the FDA authority to regulate chemical use in toiletries, including required labelling of all ingredients, which is "even more crucial now as many manufacturers are using nano-sized chemicals such as titanium dioxide in their cosmetic and health products." Currently, industry claims ingr

(21 Jul 2010)

Hearings on BP Disaster Canceled As Witnesses Say They Won't Show (LA Times)

None of the five Transocean employees called to testify at today's hearing of the U.S. Coast Guard-Interior Department about the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion agreed to come, calling in sick or pleading the Fifth Amendment. Testimony from the officials, who include two top BP officials who were on the rig on the day of the explosion, "would shed light on what happened in the crucial hours before the explosion."

(21 Jul 2010)