Evan Gonzalez, DetroitStockCity.com

TSCA @5 Years: Opportunities to Act with Foresight Is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Protecting Health and Promoting Environmental Justice? 5 Years After Lautenberg Amendments

Tue March 16 2021 • 7:00 PM — 8:30 PM
The University of Michigan M-LEEaD Center is co-sponsoring an event to mark the 5-year anniversary of the bipartisan legislation called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. This reform law was designed to modernize U.S. industrial chemical policy to promote health, but has it lived up to its promise?
Public understanding is limited regarding how exposures to toxic chemicals affect health and how they might be regulated. Unlike pharmaceuticals, industrial and commercial chemicals are rarely tested for safety before they reach the U.S. market. The 1976 TSCA has been widely acknowledged to be a weak and ineffective law, and widespread exposures and harms continue. In the U.S., everyone is exposed to industrial and toxic chemicals, dozens and probably hundreds – well before birth. The amount of chemicals manufactured and imported continues to grow – it is trillions of pounds – and these chemicals remain largely unregulated. At the same time, we have seen an increase in chronic diseases, such as diabetes, autism, and infertility. Not everyone is equally at risk, and a higher burden of disease falls on low wealth communities and communities of color. These health disparities in exposures and health effects are illustrated and exacerbated by COVID.
The amended TSCA gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency new requirements and authorities. The public health impact points to the need for the U.S. EPA to fully use its new powers to evaluate all risks from hazardous chemicals and set policies which protect health and are accountable to high-risk communities. Preventive actions are urgently needed.
Hashtag: #TSCAat5Yrs Please follow us on Twitter at @M_LEEaD
Watch “The Forever Chemicals”
The Emmy-winning documentary “The Forever Chemicals” examines the impact of PFAS contamination in west Michigan communities: private wells that tapped into groundwater near industrial dump sites were delivering PFAS-laden drinking water to unsuspecting residents for years until the contamination was detected and reported publicly.
The Forever Chemicals” can be viewed anytime for free at Great Lakes Now.
Watch the discussion
Speakers include Sandra Svoboda (“The Forever Chemicals” co-producer and Great Lakes Now Program Director), Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH (Professor, Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences, UCSF), Justin Onwenu (Environmental Justice Organizer, Sierra Club), Patricia Koman, MPP, PhD (Research Investigator, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan); welcoming remarks from Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD (Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor, School of Public Health, UM).
Public Comment Opportunity
EPA is seeking public comments about its risk evaluation methods by May 5, 2021. Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2020–0738, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting written comments. Federal Register 86, No 32, Feb 19, 2021, page 10267
More information
Read “Toxic Substances Control Act and the Regulation of Chemicals: Q&A with Trish Koman” on the Michigan Public Health News Center.
Speakers
Sandra Svoboda (The Forever Chemicals co-producer and Great Lakes Now Program Director) Sandra Svoboda (“The Forever Chemicals” co-producer and Great Lakes Now Program Director)
Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH (Professor, Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences, UCSF) Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH (Professor, Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences, UCSF)
Justin Onwenu (Environmental Justice Organizer, Sierra Club) Justin Onwenu (Environmental Justice Organizer, Sierra Club)
Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD (Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor, School of Public Health, UM) Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD (Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor, School of Public Health, UM)
Patricia Koman, MPP, PhD (Research Investigator, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan) Patricia Koman, MPP, PhD (Research Investigator, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan)
Sponsors
Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD)
Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD)
University of Michigan, Environmental Health Sciences
University of Michigan, Environmental Health Sciences
Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television
Wayne State CURES Center
Wayne State CURES Center
U-M Sustainable Living Experience
U-M Sustainable Living Experience
UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program)
UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program)
UMIHSA (University of Michigan Industrial Hygiene Students Association)
UMIHSA (University of Michigan Industrial Hygiene Students Association)
EHSA (Environmental Health Student Association)
EHSA (Environmental Health Student Association)
American Chemical Society Outreach Organization
American Chemical Society Outreach Organization
U-M Health Policy Student Association
U-M Health Policy Student Association
Ecology Center
Ecology Center
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
University of California San Francisco Program for Reproductive Health and the Environment
University of California San Francisco Program for Reproductive Health and the Environment
Sierra Club
Sierra Club

Previous Events

Symposium: “From PBB to PFAS: Research and Action to Address Michigan’s Large Scale Chemical Contaminations”
Originally aired: Thu February 20 2020
Video: Watch the Symposium on YouTube
Slides: Download slides from the Symposium (PDF)
Description: A symposium to facilitate community - researcher collaborations, featuring:
  • Keynote address by Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, DABT, ATS (Director (retired), Scientist Emeritus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program).
  • Presentations by community residents and academic researchers working on PBB and PFAS health impacts.
Sponsor: The University of Michigan M-LEEaD Center, Emory University’s HERCULES Center, and Central Michigan University
“Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Webinar”
Originally aired: Wed May 16 2018
Video: Watch “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Webinar” on YouTube
Thumbnail image for “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Webinar”
Description: This webinar describes the unfolding PFAS groundwater contamination Medias in southwest Michigan.
Speakers: Rick Rediske, PhD (Grand Valley State University), Detlef Knappe, PhD (North Carolina State University) and Rita Loch-Caruso, PhD (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Sponsor: Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD)
Slides:
Documents:

Additional resources

Video: Interview with M-LEEaD Exposure Assessment Core Co-Leader John Meeker, ScD, CIH on Detroit Public Television’s “One Detroit”
Description: One Detroit takes a closer look at the man-made chemicals known as PFAS that are threatening Michigan’s water supply.
Source: Detroit Public Television
News: “EPA needs to keep up with science, do more to protect vulnerable populations”; interview with Patricia Koman, MPP, PhD (Research Investigator, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan)
Description: The TSCA legally oversees about 40,000 chemicals in the United States. The new amendments mandate protection of what the law calls susceptible and highly exposed populations, but the EPA is not adequately assessing the risk to these populations in their first 10 risk evaluations, experts from the University of Michigan and University of California San Francisco write in a commentary in PLOS Biology.
Source: Michigan News
Public Resource: Michigan PFAS Action Response Team
Description: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS have been used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health.
Source: michigan.gov
Thumbnail image for Michigan PFAS Action Response Team
Video: 60 MiNueTs Toxic Trailer
Description: A puppet parody of CBS' 60 Minutes, 60 MiNueTs explores the impacts of toxic chemicals on human health.
Source: Watch “60 MiNueTs Toxic Trailer” on YouTube
Thumbnail image for 60 MiNueTs Toxic Trailer