CPR Archive for Aimee Simpson

EPA on the Right Track for Addressing Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, but Should be Wary of Potential Detours

by Aimee Simpson | January 08, 2013

A year ago this month, CPR published a white paper that laid out a two-phased action plan for federal agencies to take some critical steps toward protecting the public from Bisphenol-A (BPA). The report provided both short-term and long-term action items for the EPA, FDA, and OSHA that could establish stronger safeguards, risk assessment practices, and warning mechanisms for families and consumers concerning BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals.  We said an underlying requirement for both short-term and long-term action items is for federal agencies to acknowledge the unique low-dose effects and non-monotonic dose response curves (NMDRC) of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and adapt existing scientific protocols to reflect these unique risks.

Shortly before the conclusion of 2012, EPA announced a promising new effort in turning these action items into a reality.  The agency is forming a working group dedicated to investigating and analyzing low-dose effects and NMDRCs for endocrine disrupting chemicals, and intends to release a “state of the science” paper, which will undergo peer review and “help inform how the safety of chemicals are assessed.”  The working group will focus on three critical questions in conducting its work:

  • Do NMDRCs capture adverse effects that are not captured using our current chemical testing strategies (i.e. false negatives), and are there adverse effects that we are missing?
  • Do NMDRCs exist for chemicals, and if so under what conditions do they occur?
  • Do NMDRCs provide key information that would alter EPA’s ...

On the Farm and Looking to the Future of the CWA

by Aimee Simpson | October 18, 2012
Last week I visited a dairy farm with my two year-old son.  Complete with hayrides, homemade ice cream, cows mooing, and a bluegrass band, the fall festival provided us with some good, wholesome entertainment.  My son giggled as the baby cows licked his hand, oohed and awed at the fluffy baby chicks, and, of course, consumed the decadent ice cream as if I had not fed him in weeks.  It was a memorable scene for us city-dwellers, but as my ...

New CPR Report: Maryland and Federal Authorities Should Prosecute Water Polluters More Frequently

by Aimee Simpson | September 24, 2012
Today, CPR releases a new white paper examining criminal enforcement of water pollution laws in Maryland.  In Going Too Easy? Maryland’s Criminal Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Protecting the Chesapeake Bay, CPR President Rena Steinzor and I analyze a number of key questions concerning the critical, deterrence-based enforcement mechanism of criminal prosecution and its role in the Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts: What have water pollution criminal enforcement efforts in Maryland looked like for the past 10 to 20 years? What ...

FDA Takes Baby Step Toward Protecting the Public from BPA

by Aimee Simpson | July 18, 2012
Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would amend an existing food additive regulation to prohibit the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in “infant feeding bottles (baby bottles) and spill-proof cups, including their closures and lids, designed to help train babies and toddlers to drink from cups (sippy cups).”  BPA, a chemical commonly added to polycarbonate resins (a fancy word for plastics), continues to raise concerns over its low-dose, endocrine-disrupting health effects.  Despite these health and ...

To Protect the Public, FDA Should Go Beyond Industry's Petition on BPA

by Aimee Simpson | April 18, 2012
CPR Member Scholar Noah Sachs and I submitted comments yesterday to FDA regarding the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) petition to the agency on BPA. In September, the ACC petitioned FDA to remove approval for the use of BPA in “infant feeding bottles and certain spill-proof cups” (Rena Steinzor and I explained at the time the story behind the seemingly counter-intuitive move). In our comments this week, we advocate for FDA to utilize its full rulemaking authority and take broader regulatory ...

FDA's "Wait and See" Approach to BPA Not Acceptable -- and Not the Only Option

by Aimee Simpson | April 04, 2012
Last Friday, the FDA denied the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) citizen petition requesting that the agency ban Bisphenol A (BPA) as an approved food additive and food contact substance.  The agency took nearly three years to issue this decision, and did so only under a court’s order. The FDA’s denial of the petition was disappointing, because the existing science on BPA is strong enough to warrant restrictions on its use. The announcement was an unsurprising continuation of the federal ...

New CPR White Paper: What FDA, EPA, and OSHA Should do about BPA

by Aimee Simpson | January 26, 2012
Today CPR releases Protecting the Public from BPA: An Action Plan for Federal Agencies (press release), outlining steps the FDA, EPA, and OSHA can take to use existing authorities to warn the public about the dangers of the chemical, and prepare longer-term regulatory controls. The paper was written by CPR Member Scholars Tom McGarity, Noah Sachs, and Rena Steinzor, and Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Shudtz and myself. Bisphenol A (BPA) makes me want to cry.  Not in the sad or ...

EPA Moves Forward Toward Test Rule for BPA; Effects on Humans Still Primarily Outside Scope of Process

by Aimee Simpson | July 29, 2011
EPA made further progress this week in its efforts to move forward with a potential Bisphenol-A (BPA) Test Rule, publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register. Overall this progress is good news, though it’s not without its flaws. EPA completed a draft of the ANPRM in December and sent it over to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review, pursuant to Executive Order 12866. Despite a 10-working-day deadline for review of ANPRMs, OIRA spent ...

Holding its Legal (and Parental) Ground: EPA Responds to the American Chemistry Council's Request for Correction of the BPA Action Plan

by Aimee Simpson | July 26, 2011
Being a parent is not easy, but some of the most difficult moments arise when you know what needs to be done to protect your child and your child has other sentiments. Call it a temper tantrum, a battle of wills, or disobedience, it all evokes a sense of frustration, exhaustion, and, let’s face it, self-doubt. There is that brief moment when you think to yourself, “Wouldn’t it just be easier to let them have their way? Maybe I am being too harsh ...

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