Saturday, January 17, 2015

Maine DEP weakens, endorses disclosure rule for toxic phthalates

For those following Maine's ahead-of-the-curve effort to regulate toxic chemicals in consumer products, I have an update in yesterday's Portland Press Herald.

Regular readers will recall "Lobbyist in the Henhouse", an award-winning investigative report published in 2013 that revealed that the state's commissioner for environmental protection, Patricia Aho, a longtime corporate lobbyist, had been strangling many of the laws she'd unsuccessfully fought against on behalf of her clients, including the Kid Safe Products Act, disliked by chemical manufacturers.

Aho's DEP, compelled by activists' petitions to rule whether manufacturers of four phthalates will have to disclose which consumer products sold in Maine contain the substances, has endorsed a weakened rewrite of the rule that effectively excludes products likely to expose fetuses and pregnant women. Details in the story.

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