Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group - Draft Final Action Plan and Upcoming House PBDE Hearing

The Draft Columbia River Toxics Reduction Action Plan (PDF) is a follow-up to EPA's 2009 State of the River Report for Toxics. It provides a plan to restore the health of the Columbia River Basin by reducing the inflow of toxic metals and chemicals. Please send comments on the draft plan to Mary Lou Soscia( by June 25th. A final actionn plan is expected in late July.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to examine Flame Retardant Chemicals on May 20, 2010.  Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak requested information from chemical companies Albemarle Corporation, Chemtura Corporation, and ICL Performance Products on their top-selling flame retardant chemicals, including documentation related to each chemical's potential health, safety, and environmental effects.  The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 20,2010, regarding the use and potential impact of flame retardant

Flame retardant chemicals, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers(PBDEs), are used in the fabrics, foams, and plastics of various consumer and children's products and tend to slow the ignition and rate of combustion of fire.  Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), chemical manufacturers are not required to perform any toxicity testing on chemicals prior to release into the marketplace.  However, the persistent and bioaccumulative nature of flame retardant chemicals raises concerns regarding their impact on human health and the environment.  A growing number of peer-reviewed studies suggests a
possible link between exposure to certain flame retardant chemicals and
neurological, developmental, fertility, and reproductive problems in
animals and in humans.