Daily News Archives
From February 3, 2005
Pesticides Analysis of EPA's Wood Preservative Risk Assessment Shows
Pesticides, February 3, 2005) On January 31, 2005, Beyond
Pesticides and others sent public
comments to EPA on the agency’s Preliminary Risk Assessment
(PRA) for Pentachlorophenol (PCP), a wood preservative commonly used
on utility poles and railroad ties. PCP and its contaminants –
dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene – have been linked to oncogenicity,
teratogenicity (causes birth defects) and fetotoxicity.
in 2000, EPA’s PCP risk assessment, which was made public on November
30, 2005, comes five years after its previous draft – a time frame
that is much too long for environmentalists concerned over the chemical’s
adverse impacts to human health and the environment.
The following are
just a few highlights of the serious flaws discovered by Beyond Pesticides
analysis of the PCP risk assessment:
- EPA has not,
as it stated it would, incorporated a review of PCP constituents of
concern, including dioxin and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) -- both of which
are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by the United
Nations and considered carcinogens by the National Institutes of Health.
- In conducting
its revision of the PCP risk assessment, EPA abandoned years of agency
data and based its revisions totally on data provided to it by the
Pentachlorophenol Task Force, a chemical industry group that has a
vested economic interest in the continuing registration of PCP. EPA’s
scientists pointed out a number of flaws in this study, such as insensitive
of equipment and inadequate methodology and data collection.
- In its first
analysis, EPA estimated that children’s residential post-application
exposure resulting from widespread use of PCP-treated utility poles
poses an unacceptable cancer risk. Rather than address this risk and
protect children, this risk has disappeared from the risk assessment
with a simple unsubstantiated statement that this exposure does not
- EPA admits to
several data gaps and missing studies in its Ecological Effects and
Environmental Risk Characterization section of the risk assessment.
Yet another example of EPA’s lack of commitment to properly
evaluating this chemical.
complete comments on the PCP risk assessment are available on our Watchdogging
public comments webpage.