Protect Vulnerable Communities from Toxic Pollutants

Target: Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Protect vulnerable communities from toxins and pollutants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon decide whether to change or replace their outdated tools to measure the effects of pollution in vulnerable communities. Tell the EPA to update its approach to follow recent scientific advances.

Currently, the EPA’s risk assessment methods face problems with data-gathering for determining the effects of toxic pollutants. It leaves out emerging and now-known chemicals and pollutants in reports when looking into single sources or pollutants. The cumulative effects of exposure to all pollutants in an area are obscured from the public because the agency suffers from such poor data-gathering techniques and methods, including this tendency to focus on one pollutant source when assessing risks to specific communities. The agency also does not adequately address the risks of early exposure to pollutants, especially in lower-income communities, and it faces problems with addressing complex decisions regarding its risk assessments in a timely manner.

The National Academy of Sciences made recommendations in a 2009 report, called the “silver book,” to update the EPA’s tools in accordance with advances in the field. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has also created scientific documents and tools that would be a significant update to those currently used by the EPA.

Lower-income communities are often at an increased risk of exposure to harmful pollutants. Urge the EPA to take action to update its tools to reflect advances in science in order to better protect communities at risk for long-term health problems.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Environmental Protection Agency,

I urge you to update the EPA’s tools and methods for risk assessment in communities affected by exposure to known pollutants. Methods developed from current science would allow the EPA to better serve low-income communities at risk of health problems from early and long-term exposure to toxic pollutants.

Please adopt the recommendations of scientists that have been made in recent years, including the National Academy of Sciences 2009 report, “Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment,” also known as the the “silver book,” to update the EPA’s tools in accordance with advances in the field. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has also created scientific documents and tools that would be a significant update to those currently used by the EPA.

The EPA must take action to ensure that the cumulative effects of all known pollutants in an area are known by the public, not just those assessed under existing policy. Bring the EPA up to speed with current science and help protect communities from pollutants.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Public domain

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers says:

    Excellent thoughts! This goes for the EPA every where.
    Signed!

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