Green group highlights 10 chemicals for EPA regulation

Green group highlights 10 chemicals for EPA regulation
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A green advocacy group is highlighting ten toxic chemicals it wants the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate under new broad powers.

Topping the Environmental Working Group’s list is asbestos, a cancer-causing substance still found in automobile brake pads and clutches, vinyl tiles and roofing materials.

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The other nine chemicals the group lists include PERC – a probable carcinogen that appears in dry-cleaning fluid, spot removers and water repellants; phthalate chemicals in PVC plastics, toys and plastic wrap linked to early puberty in girls; and BPA found in food cans, food containers and cash register receipts that is linked to infertility and diabetes.

“After decades of stagnation, EPA can now ban or restrict the use of toxic chemicals and order companies to conduct safety testing when more information is needed,” EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews said in a statement. "It's important that the agency act promptly to eliminate or reduce Americans' exposure to industrial compounds linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other health problems."

In June, Obama signed an overhaul of the nation’s chemical safety laws into law that lawmakers had been fighting years for. The legislation gives EPA the authority to test and regulate chemicals already in the marketplace, as well as new substances.

Chlorinated phosphate fire retardants also made the Environmental Working Group's list. These chemicals turn up in upholstered furniture, foam cushions, baby car seats and insulation and are linked to possible nerve and brain damage.

Brominated phthalate fire retardants found in polyurethane foam for furniture and baby products; 1-Bromopropane found in aerosol cleaners; DEHA found in plastic wrap and PVC plastic; and P-dichlorobenzene in mothballs and deodorant – all known carcinogens – also made the list.