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HomeHealth & WellnessWhistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office

Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office

*EPA managers removed information about the risks posed by dozens of chemicals, according to whistleblowers.

By Sharon Lerner (TheIntercept.com)

*Link to full article here: https://theintercept.com/2021/07/02/epa-chemical-safety-corruption-whistleblowers/

Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided The Intercept with detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer.

On several occasions, information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists’ conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market.

This is the first of a series of articles based on the four whistleblowers’ highly detailed allegations, which were supported by dozens of internal emails with supervisors, meeting summaries, and other documents. Together, the evidence they provided shows a pattern in which the EPA failed to follow the law that oversees chemical regulation, particularly the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, and depicts a workplace in which EPA staffers regularly faced retribution for following the science.

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