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The Green Life: Thank You, EPA, for Making the World Less Toxic

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November 30, 2010

Thank You, EPA, for Making the World Less Toxic

Earthy birthdayThe Environmental Protection Agency turns 40 this Thursday, and we’re thanking it for its accomplishments. Over the years, the EPA has reduced 60% of dangerous air pollutants, saved Americans more than $55 million in water and sewer bills, and cleaned more than 2,000 American rivers and lakes.

The EPA isn't stopping to pat itself on the back. Today it announced two initiatives that might decrease our exposure to environmental toxins.

Since World War II, we’ve introduced more than 100,000 synthetic chemicals into the environment but have only tested a small fraction of them for toxicity. These chemicals are everywhere — our computers, cleaners, even foods — and we have no idea what they’re doing to our bodies and environment.

Here’s what the EPA is doing in response:

  • The ToxCast screening program will be a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional animal toxicity tests. It'll test methylparaben, troglitazone, and about 1,000 more tongue-twisting chemicals.
  • The experts at the Design for the Environment (DfE) Program will research and recommend safer, affordable alternatives to known toxins such as BPA in cash receipts and decaBDE in textiles and electronics. Find out which products the EPA deems safe by looking for the DfE label.  

--Natalya Stanko

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