The following is an excerpt from Mary Papenfuss | July 8, 2018 | Huffingtonpost.com |
The Environmental Protection Agency is suppressing a bombshell report warning that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor to risk developing leukemia or other diseases, a former agency official and a current one told Politico.
A draft health assessment of the chemical was finished before Donald Trump became president — yet the EPA has yet to release the findings.
“They’re stonewalling every step of the way,” said the current EPA official, who was not named by Politico. The official was referring to the formaldehyde study as well as other assessments of chemicals by the agency’s scientifically independent Risk Information System.
Former EPA head Scott Pruitt, who resigned Thursday in the face of multiple ethics investigations, was asked about the assessment at a Senate hearing in January.
“It’s my understanding that the EPA has finalized its conclusion that formaldehyde causes leukemia and other cancers,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told Pruitt. The EPA chief responded: “You know, my understanding is similar to yours.”
Keeping the health assessment under wraps fuels criticism that the EPA, increasingly peopled by political appointees with corporate connections, appears more concerned about shielding industries than protecting the environment and the health of Americans from toxic chemicals.
Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the nation. It’s used in wood composites in furniture and cabinets, as well as in cleaning products and cosmetics, and is spewed into the air by oil refineries. Formaldehyde can be inhaled as a gas or vapor or it can be absorbed through the skin in liquid form, according to the National Cancer Institute. The federal Centers for Disease Control says that formaldehyde is “known to cause cancer.”
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