Back in Full Force

The trip to Washington, DC to help educate government officials and the general public went very well despite many frustrations. I will post a few updates since there is a lot to catch you all up on.

I have been sorely absent here and on Facebook & Twitter for a while post-DC. As many of you know I have a chronic illness that effects my energy. Even after such a short trip and all the preparations prior, I crashed upon returning home. I am slowly starting to come back out of it and so hope to be more visible again soon. The plus is I have best kitty, in Timmy, on Cuddle Patrol when I spend days on end in bed, unable to move or to move very little.

In my absence and the days leading up to the trip to Washington, DC, much has happened. Some important deadlines were missed, such as the open comment period over at the Federal Register for the EPA review of permethrin. Permethrin is one of the ingredients found in the flea spray FOR CATS that was used on Timmy and in the flea powder used on Oliver. Permethrin and derivatives in many different names are found in the majority of flea & tick products. Usually they are listed as pyrethrins or have complex names primarily ending in -in or -rin on the packaging.

Here are a few more up-to-date things happening in the world:

The EPA’s Human Studies Review Board is hosting a two day on-line Internet TV webcast of their October 2011 meeting which is open to the public. Here are the details if you wish to attend: October 19-20, 2011, live from the EPA in Washington D.C.  This live video webcast event is free, open to the public, and will be accessible at this URL. The agenda for this two-day event is also available at this site. The event will go from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM ET on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM ET on Thursday Oct. 20.

Personally, I will be interested to see who is going to be there from industry. Usually these “boards” have more industry representation than environmental groups. And yes, the government does track human studies, although this includes exposure to things like pesticides sprayed on crops and monitoring farm workers and their health concerns.

The most exciting thing is an online database on inert ingredients from the EPA. KUDOS! … Well sort of. The database does not associate inerts with the products that carry them, so it doesn’t help you as a consumer make educated decisions. But, you could pop the EPA a comment on this “flagship” project and ask them to list intert ingredients for pet products, particularly flea and tick products,  and tell the EPA that this is necessary for you as an educated consumer. These products are not just on your pet, but expose yourself and your family to potentially dangerous amounts of toxic, carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals and pesticides.

Here is the info on the new database:

Office of Pesticide Programs Launches Online Searchable Database of Inert Ingredients Approved for Use in Pesticides

EPA’s Pesticide Program has released a new online searchable database, called Inert Finder. This database allows pesticide formulators and other interested parties to easily identify chemicals approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products.  It will allow registrants developing new products or new product formulations to readily determine which inert ingredients may be acceptable for use as well as making this same information more readily available to the public.  Users can search for inert ingredients by chemical name or Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number to determine whether inert ingredients are approved for products that have food or nonfood uses.  Search results will also provide any applicable use limitations and will flag inert ingredients for which companies have asserted data compensation rights.

Inert Finder was developed in response to a longstanding need expressed by the regulated community and others for a resource that consolidates the several lists of approved inert ingredients into a readily searchable format.  For food use inert ingredients, Inert Finder includes links to the Code of Federal Regulations, which is the legal record regarding inert ingredients that have exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance for residues on food.  The system does not include information about ingredients in individual pesticide products.

You may access inert finder at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/inertfinder.  EPA welcomes your questions or comments about this new tool.  Please email them to the Inert Ingredient Assessment Branch: inertsbranch@epa.gov.

The home page for InertFinder includes a link to another online searchable database called the Chemical Data Access Tool, which allows users to find health and safety information submitted to EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at http://java.epa.gov/oppt_chemical_search/.

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