EPA Takes a Stand: Proposed Ban on Cancer-Causing Chemical

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In a historic announcement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed banning trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing chemical found in everyday products.

TCE has been linked to a cluster of leukemia cases in Woburn, Massachusetts, following contamination of the city's drinking water.

This move signifies the end of a nearly four-decade battle to ban TCE, a chemical that poses severe health risks, even at low levels of exposure over time.

EPA's recent studies reveal that 250 million pounds of TCE are still produced annually in the United States.

Woburn's water crisis began in Massachusetts, where TCE contamination led to the designation of massive Superfund sites.

U.S. Senator Edward Markey, a leading advocate for the ban, expressed his support, emphasizing the importance of ending TCE's use.

The 1982 lawsuit involving Woburn families led to the book and movie "A Civil Action," bringing national attention to the issue.

While the American Chemistry Council defends TCE's uses, environmental groups applaud the EPA's proposed rule.

TCE is employed in various products, from refrigerants to carpet cleaners, and presents significant health and environmental risks in numerous applications.

This proposed ban arises from expanded EPA powers under the 2016 Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, intended to regulate toxic chemicals in everyday products.

The move reflects a broader effort to protect public health and the environment from hazardous substances, including asbestos, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, and carbon tetrachloride.