Trump WH Rolls Back EPA Plan to Restrict Dangerous Household Chemicals

"The Trump administration has quietly delayed action on dangerous solvents that the Environmental Protection Agency had previously planned to ban. Under former President Barack Obama, the agency had been in the process of restricting the use of the three commonly available chemicals, but the Trump administration’s latest update on its effort to roll back regulation puts the proposed Obama rules on the back burner.

The three chemicals  — TCE, NMP, and methylene chloride — are used to strip furniture, remove grease, and dry clean clothes. All three are clearly dangerous: The EPA has deemed TCE a carcinogen “by all routes of exposure,” NMP is a developmental toxin, and methylene chloride has killed at least 56 people since 1980, many of whom were stripping bathtubs.

But the Trump administration has dimmed the possibility of quick action on these — and perhaps all — dangerous chemicals. The new regulatory plan, which the White House released last week, showed that the chemicals were moved from the proposed rule category to “long term action.” In all, 469 Obama-era regulations were withdrawn and 860 put on hold."

Sharon Lerner reports for The Intercept December 19, 2017.

Source: The Intercept, 12/20/2017