I’m alarmed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to kick the can down the road on toxic chemicals. On Dec. 19, news broke that his agency has indefinitely postponed bans on certain uses of three dangerous chemicals: methylene chloride, N-Methylpyrrolidone, and trichloroethylene. These chemicals are linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, and other health problems. You can find some of them on the shelves of your local hardware store.
Protecting American consumers and workers from dangerous chemicals is at the heart of the EPA’s mission. And action on these toxic chemicals is long overdue. Their health risks are serious and well documented. In fact, a 21-year-old in Tennessee died recently after stripping a bathtub with a product containing methylene chloride.
Delaying these rules will needlessly expose two million workers and consumers to these hazardous chemicals. Yet Pruitt and his team have prioritized the chemical lobby ahead of our health.
Workers and families need more, not less, protection from toxic chemicals. The EPA should end this dangerous delay.