Health hazards (31 - 40 of 127 items)
Environmental Health: EPA Efforts to Address Children's Health Issues Need Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment
GAO-08-1155T: Published: Sep 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2008.
According to EPA, children face disproportionate risks from contaminants such as air pollution and lead paint. The health consequences to the country's 74 million children are significant. In 2006, 55 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants such as ozone which causes or aggravates asthma. Asthma is the third-most common...
Aboveground Oil Storage Tanks: More Complete Facility Data Could Improve Implementation of EPA's Spill Prevention Program
GAO-08-482: Published: Apr 30, 2008. Publicly Released: May 30, 2008.
Oil leaks from aboveground tanks have contaminated soil and water, threatening human health and wildlife. To prevent damage from oil spills, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule in 1973. EPA's 10 regions inspect oil storage facilities to ensure compliance with the rule. EPA estimates that about 571,000 facilities are subject...
Chemical Assessments: EPA's New Assessment Process Will Further Limit the Productivity and Credibility of Its Integrated Risk Information System
GAO-08-810T: Published: May 21, 2008. Publicly Released: May 21, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effects of exposure to more than 540 chemicals. Toxicity assessments in the IRIS database constitute the first two critical steps of the risk assessment process, which in turn, provides the foundation for risk management decisions. Thus, IRIS is a c...
Toxic Chemicals: EPA's New Assessment Process Will Increase Challenges EPA Faces in Evaluating and Regulating Chemicals
GAO-08-743T: Published: Apr 29, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission includes evaluating and regulating toxic chemicals. EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program is a chemical evaluation program that is a critical component of EPA's capacity to support scientifically sound environmental regulations and policies. The IRIS database contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effec...
Drinking Water: The District of Columbia and Communities Nationwide Face Serious Challenges in Their Efforts to Safeguard Water Supplies
GAO-08-687T: Published: Apr 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2008.
The discovery in 2004 of lead contamination in the District of Columbia's drinking water resulted in an administrative order between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the District's Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), requiring WASA to take a number of corrective actions. WASA also took additional, longer-term measures, most notably a roughly $400 million program to replace what may be 3...
Hazardous Materials: EPA May Need to Reassess Sites Receiving Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana, and Should Improve Its Public Notification Process
GAO-08-71: Published: Oct 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2007.
Between 1923 and the early 1990s, a mine near Libby, Montana, shipped millions of tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite ore to sites throughout the United States. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to clean up asbestos contamination at the Libby mine and evaluate those sites that received the ore to determine if they were contaminated. Under Superfund program regulations...
Chemical Regulation: Comparison of U.S. and Recently Enacted European Union Approaches to Protect against the Risks of Toxic Chemicals
GAO-07-825: Published: Aug 17, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2007.
Chemicals play an important role in everyday life. However, some chemicals are highly toxic and need to be regulated. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment, but some have questioned whether TSCA provides EPA with enough tools t...
World Trade Center: EPA's Most Recent Test and Clean Program Raises Concerns That Need to Be Addressed to Better Prepare for Indoor Contamination Following Disasters
GAO-07-1091: Published: Sep 5, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2007.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and World Trade Center (WTC) collapse blanketed Lower Manhattan in dust from building debris. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an indoor clean and test program from 2002 to 2003. In 2003, EPA's Inspector General (IG) recommended improvements to the program and identified lessons learned for EPA's preparedness for future disa...
Environmental Justice: Measurable Benchmarks Needed to Gauge EPA Progress in Correcting Past Problems
GAO-07-1140T: Published: Jul 25, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2007.
A 1994 Executive Order sought to ensure that minority and low-income populations are not subjected to disproportionately high levels of environmental risk. Studies have shown that these groups are indeed disproportionately exposed to air pollution and other environmental and health problems. The Order sought to address the problem by requiring EPA and other federal agencies to make achieving envir...
Environmental Contamination: Department of Defense Activities Related to Trichloroethylene, Perchlorate, and Other Emerging Contaminants
GAO-07-1042T: Published: Jul 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2007.
DOD defines emerging contaminants as chemicals or materials with (1) perceived or real threat to health or the environment and (2) lack of published standards or a standard that is evolving or being reevaluated. Two emerging contaminants--trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchlorate--are of particular concern to DOD because they have significant potential to impact people or DOD's mission. TCE, a degre...