[Pharmwaste] House Panel to examine effects of endocrine disruptors
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Mon Feb 22 10:41:16 EST 2010
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CHEMICALS: House panel to examine effects of endocrine disruptors in water (02/22/2010)
Sara Goodman, E&E reporter
The impacts that hormone-disrupting chemicals found in drinking water have on human health and the environment will be the focus of a hearing this week in a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.
The Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hear testimony from Jim Jones, U.S. EPA's deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances; and Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, among others.
The witnesses are expected to address what happens when endocrine-disrupting chemicals end up in drinking water.
Endocrine disrupters affect glands and hormones that regulate many bodily functions, most notably reproduction. Definitively connecting the chemicals to health problems is not easy, however, since people are exposed to many industrial chemicals. The chemicals end up in water through a variety of means, including human excretion of ingested drugs, leaching from municipal landfills, and runoff from confined animal feeding operations and pesticides.
In an effort to address those concerns, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) last year introduced a bill calling on NIEHS to research the effects of chemicals on the human endocrine system, particularly among children.
H.R. 4190 would establish an independent panel of scientists to oversee research to identify endocrine disruptors and develop a prioritized list of chemicals to investigate. If the panel found even minimal concern about a chemical, the legislation would require the relevant federal agency to report to Congress and propose next steps within six months
The Center for Biological Diversity last month petitioned EPA to set water-quality standards for endocrine-disrupting chemicals, a move meant to spur the agency to regulate or ban the use of such substances.
EPA has pledged to move quickly on a long-stalled program aimed at protecting the public from endocrine-disrupting chemicals -- the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program -- and last year listed 67 pesticides for screening. The agency also is reviewing several controversial chemicals including atrazine, perchlorate and phthalates.
Schedule: The hearing is Thursday, Feb. 25, at 9:30 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn.
Witnesses: Jim Jones, EPA's deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances; Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences; and Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Other witnesses TBA.
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