WASHINGTON — The Environmental Defense Fund is calling on chemical firms to speed efforts to make health data available for widely used chemicals because, EDF says, it will take more than 40 years at the current pace.
Eleven chemical companies said they will participate in the EDF effort, while six have said they will not and 83 are studying the offer, New York-based EDF said in a Dec. 3 release. The organization took out an advertisement Dec. 3 in USA Today announcing the responses.
The program would not apply to most polymers because they do not break down easily, but it would apply to chemicals that are the building blocks of plastics, said David Roe, EDF senior lawyer.
EDF wants chemical companies to make data available on the 3,000 most widely used chemicals by the year 2000, using testing protocols developed in 1990 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The testing effort, which would cost at most $20,000-$150,000 per chemical, produces only very basic human health data and would serve as a warning about what chemicals should face additional testing, Roe said.
EDF said testing information is not available to the public for 71 percent of the chemicals. However, a Chemical Manufacturers Association study said information is publicly available for almost 50 percent of the chemicals.
``Unfortunately, not all of these test results are easy to find,'' CMA said in a statement.
CMA said it is meeting with EDF and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve access.