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Chemicals should be disposed properly in order to prevent acid rain

Solid and Hazardous Wastes Laws Although the Clean Air Act and its amendments comprise the most notable example of US legislation passed to protect air quality, other laws address air pollution more indirectly. For example, air pollution around solid and hazardous waste facilities can be problematic. The RCRA law covers both hazardous and solid wastes, while Superfund and its amendments generally address abandoned hazardous waste sites.

RCRA addresses active hazardous waste sites. HSWA also increased the federal enforcement authority related to hazardous waste actions, set more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and provided for a comprehensive UST program.

The 1986 amendments to RCRA allowed the federal government to address potential environmental problems from USTs for petroleum and other hazardous substances. Congress enacted it in 1980 to create a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and to provide extensive federal authority for responding directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.

The Superfund law established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites; established provisions for the liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites; and established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified.

This is intended to eliminate or reduce exposures to possible contaminants. Superfund also revised the National Contingency Plan NCPwhich sets guidelines and procedures required when responding to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances.

These amendments stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. SARA required that Superfund actions consider the standards and requirements found in other state and federal environmental laws and regulations and provided revised enforcement authorities and new settlement tools.

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The amendments also increased state involvement in every aspect of the Superfund program, increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites, encouraged more extensive citizen participation in site cleanup decisions, and increased the size of the Superfund trust fund.

SARA also mandate that the Hazard Ranking System HRS be revised to make sure of the adequacy of the assessment of the relative degree of risk to human health and the environment posed by uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that may be placed on the NPL.

Environmental Product and Consumer Protection Laws Although most of the authorizing legislation targeted at protecting and improving the environment is based on actions needed in specific media i. In this way, air pollution is prevented to some extent at the potential source, such as products that can lead to indoor air pollution.

These three laws look at products in terms of potential risks for yet-to-be-released products and estimated risks for products already in use. If the risks are unacceptable, new products may not be released as formulated or the uses will be strictly limited to applications that meet minimum risk standards. For products already in the marketplace, the risks are periodically reviewed. For example, pesticides have to be periodically re-registered with the government. This re-registration process consists of reviews of new research and information regarding health and environmental impacts discovered since the product's last registration.

FIFRA's major mandate is to control the distribution, sale, and applications of pesticides. This not only includes studying the health and environmental consequences of pesticide usage, but also to require that those applying the pesticides register when they purchase the products.

Commercial applicators must be certified by successfully passing exams on the safe use of pesticides. The licensing and registration makes sure that pesticide is properly labeled and will not cause unreasonable environmental harm.

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An important, recent product production law is the Food Quality Protection Act FQPAincluding new provisions to protect children and limit their risks to carcinogens and other toxic substances. The law is actually an amendment to FIFRA and FFDCA that includes new requirements for safety standard—reasonable certainty of no harm—that must be applied to all pesticides used on foods. FQPA mandates a single, health-based standard for all pesticides in all foods; gives special protections for infants and children; expedites approval of pesticides likely to be safer than those in use; provides incentives for effective crop protection tools for farmers; and requires regular re-evaluation of pesticide registrations and tolerances so that the scientific data supporting pesticide registrations includes current findings.

There is some ongoing debate about the actual routes and pathways that contribute the most to pesticide exposure. For example, certain pesticides seem to be most likely to be present in dietary pathways e. This seems to vary considerably by the type of pesticide, but it suffices to say that the air pathways are important.

Another product-related development in recent years is the screening program for endocrine disrupting substances. Research suggests a link between exposure to certain chemicals and damage to the endocrine system in humans and wildlife. The newly developed Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program focuses on methods and procedures to detect and to chemicals should be disposed properly in order to prevent acid rain the endocrine activity of pesticides and other chemicals see Fig.

The scientific data needed for the estimated 87 000 chemicals in commerce does not exist to conduct adequate assessments of potential risks. The screening program is being used by EPA to collect this information for endocrine disruptors and to decide appropriate regulatory action by first assigning each chemical to an endocrine disruption category.

The chemicals undergo sorting into four categories according to the available existing, scientifically relevant information: Category 1 chemicals have sufficient, scientifically relevant information to determine that they are not likely to interact with the estrogen, androgen, or thyroid systems. This category includes some polymers and certain exempted chemicals. Category 2 chemicals have insufficient information to determine whether they are likely to interact with the estrogen, androgen, or thyroid systems, thus will need screening data.

Category 3 chemicals have sufficient screening data to indicate endocrine activity, but data to characterize actual effects are inadequate and will need testing.

How to Prevent Chemical Pollution

Category 4 chemicals already have sufficient data for the EPA to perform a hazard assessment. This is accomplished through screening the chemicals and requiring that reporting and testing be done for any substance that presents a hazard to human health or the environment. If chemical poses a potential or actual risk that is unreasonable, the EPA may ban the manufacture and import of that chemical.

The EPA has tracked thousands of new chemicals being developed by industries each year, if those chemicals have either unknown or dangerous characteristics. This information is used to determine the type of control that these chemicals would need to protect human health and the environment. Manufacturers and importers of chemical substances first submitted information about chemical substances already on the market during an initial inventory.

Since the initial inventory was published, commercial manufacturers or importers of substances not on the inventory have been subsequently required to submit notices to the EPA, which has developed guidance about how to identify chemical substances to assign a unique and unambiguous description of each substance for the inventory.