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EPA Regulates Toxic Chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced new regulations that aim to limit the presence of cancer causing chemicals and air pollution from chemical plants. The standards target the gas ethylene oxide, which is one of the most harmful cancer causing chemicals and is often used to sterilize industrial equipment and medical devices, and also increased regulations on five other highly dangerous chemicals. In 2021, a study by ProPublica found over one thousand locations across the country that were considered “toxic hotspots” where residents have an elevated risk of developing cancer from pollutants. Now, hundreds of chemical plants will be required to install monitoring devices for the six chemicals listed in their regulations and must share their data publicly online. If any of the chemicals exceed the allowed amounts, the facilities must take immediate action to lower emissions. The EPA’s new rules lay the groundwork for additional regulations to come, and are a big step in minimizing the risk of cancer and protecting the planet from harmful toxins.


Image via ProPublica


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