News Recap for 10-30-20
Capital Press: EPA backs arguments against $25 million glyphosate verdict — The EPA has determined that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup—shouldn’t be labeled as a cancer risk, which precludes a major lawsuit’s allegation that such warnings are necessary. The lawsuit against Roundup producer Monsanto raises the fundamental question of whether EPA labeling requirements that are based on expert scientific judgments under federal pesticide law can be overridden by the verdicts of lay juries under state law across a wide array of regulated pesticides.
NJ Spotlight News: Rutgers launches Paulsboro PFAS study with public information session — Rutgers University’s School of Public Health is inviting residents in Gloucester County, NJ to participate in a national study of how their health is affected if PFAS chemicals get into their drinking water. Scientists hope to take blood from up to 1,000 adults and 300 children to gather more information about the chemicals’ effects on a range of health conditions including the development of children, immune system functioning, cholesterol levels, and the increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women. The upcoming tests are part of a federal investigation at eight locations around the country where people have been exposed to the chemicals.
Heartland Institute: Managing Ethylene Oxide: An Air Quality Professional’s Perspective — One of the more valuable ways of looking at exposure is to compare how exposure to a particular compound near manmade sources differs from natural background exposure in areas far removed from a manmade source. Ethylene oxide is produced at petrochemical facilities, but is also regularly found in natural, biological systems, such as the human body. It is also commonly found in ambient air throughout industrial, residential, and rural areas. Numerous studies have examined ethylene-oxide concentrations in the ambient air near industrial facilities that use the chemical, and compared these results to ethylene-oxide concentrations in the ambient air at locations far removed from facilities handling ethylene oxide. Researchers have found is that there is no meaningful statistical difference between the datasets.
Charlotte Observer: Duke researchers to release results of Pittsboro PFAS exposure study at web conference — A team of Duke University researchers took tap water and blood samples from 49 people in Pittsboro, NC in late 2019 and early 2020, measuring the presence of 13 PFAS chemicals. The median levels of PFOA and PFOS, a pair of PFAS chemicals that have largely been phased out, were higher in the blood of Pittsboro residents than in the blood of Wilmington residents, who have also long been exposed to PFAS.
Poynter: The ‘poison pill’ holding up a U.S. stimulus agreement — Some senate Democrats say Republicans are holding up a COVID stimulus bill over an insistence that any agreement must include a provision that limits the liability for businesses if workers or customers get sick and try to blame the business. The American Medical Association lends its support to a limited liability bill, saying such protection does not exempt negligence or willful or careless misconduct. The AMA also disagrees with the argument that everyday workers are put at risk if employers don’t protect them from the virus while forcing them to return to the factory, office or warehouse.