WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Report on Cancer, an esteemed study that evaluates chemicals for their links to cancer, produced by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), was challenged today by the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight, and Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare & Technology when they held a hearing called: How the Report on Carcinogens Uses Science to Meet its Statutory Obligations, and its Impact on Small Business Jobs
"The focus of this hearing gave me the impression that certain members of Congress aim to undermine the role of science in guiding the determination of chemical safety for use in U.S. businesses," comments David Levine, CEO and co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), "It seems that certain large chemical concerns had lobbied for this, without consideration for the increasing numbers of businesses including small businesses who are meeting demand for safer chemicals and products for American consumers, and growing the U.S. economy in response to this market shift toward safer products."
In Hearing testimony, the styrene industry was named as being concerned about the ROC's determination that styrene is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of NIEHS, testified that scientific evidence demonstrates that styrene also is linked to adverse genetic effects.
Ally Latourelle, Esq., a member of the ASBC, vice president for Government Affairs for Bioamber, Inc. testified about a safer substitution for styrene. She said that the ROC doesn't hurt her business, but that her company is thriving making safer chemicals, and using less oil based materials: "The U.S. chemical industry alone uses 20% of the world's industrial energy supply. 97% of all products ….. are made from chemicals. …. An argument can be made that decreasing information regarding toxicity and other potential risks stifles innovation and science."
"NIEHS (ROC) 2011 findings didn't land into a void, but rather into a marketplace with an ever increasing awareness of human health risks associated with chemicals in products and of the need for responsible chemistry," notes Howard Williams, LEED AP ID +C, Construction Specialties, Inc. "The Report on Carcinogens explains the science and summarizes the information. Not all businesses find fault with the report, many of us rely on it."
SOURCE American Sustainable Business Council