Due to the EPA’s shift in policies regarding the assessment of toxic chemicals, scientists’ examination of the effects of chemicals on public health will be lessened, risks of chemical exposure to people and the environment will be redefined, and regulations for the chemical industry may be avoided or delayed. This poses major hazards to individuals exposed to toxic chemicals, even those chemicals that are no longer in use. The EPA will assess ten out of 90 dangerous chemicals first as part of the law passed in 2016 that is supposed to decrease the use of hazardous chemicals. Chemicals like asbestos, bromopropane, carbon tetrachloride, 1,4-dioxane, cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster, methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, perchloroethylene, pigment violet 29, and trichloroethylene are listed as toxic threats to be assessed. All these chemicals contain significant health hazards like the development of cancer and soil contamination among other issues that could put public health at risk. Meanwhile, the chemical industry and other related groups continue to demand that the EPA limit any restrictions placed on them and their use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.
Although many strides have been made to restrict the use of toxic chemicals through lawsuits and governmental regulations, the EPA policy shift could interfere with the elimination of these chemicals from public use and further endanger the environment. Despite the decreased use of PFOAs, for example, adverse effects remain to a degree, and loosening restrictions on any toxic chemicals could only cause more problems in the future.