Health hazards (31 - 40 of 111 items)
Chemical Regulation: Approaches in the United States, Canada, and the European Union
GAO-06-217R: Published: Nov 4, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, including consumer products such as cleansers, paints, plastics, and fuels, as well as industrial solvents and additives. While chemicals play an important role in everyday life, some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regul...
Environmental Cleanup: Transfer of Contaminated Federal Property and Recovery of Cleanup Costs
GAO-05-1011R: Published: Sep 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2005.
Ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate) is a primary ingredient in solid rocket propellant and has been used for decades by the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in the manufacturing, testing, and firing of rockets and missiles. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water, groundwater, surface water, or soil in 35 states, the D...
Defense Health Care: Improvements Needed in Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance During Deployments to Address Immediate and Long-Term Health Issues
GAO-05-632: Published: Jul 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2005.
Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, research and investigations into the causes of servicemembers' unexplained illnesses were hampered by inadequate occupational and environmental exposure data. In 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed a militarywide health surveillance framework that includes occupational and environmental health surveillance (OEHS)--the regular collection and reportin...
Defense Health Care: Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance Conducted During Deployments Needs Improvement
GAO-05-903T: Published: Jul 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2005.
Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, research and investigations into the causes of servicemembers' unexplained illnesses were hampered by a lack of servicemember health and deployment data, including inadequate occupational and environmental exposure data. In 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed a militarywide health surveillance framework that includes occupational and environmental h...
Clean Air Act: Emerging Mercury Control Technologies Have Shown Promising Results, but Data on Long-Term Performance Are Limited
GAO-05-612: Published: May 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2005.
In March 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule that will limit emissions of mercury--a toxic element that causes neurological problems--from coal-fired power plants, the nation's largest industrial source of mercury emissions. Under the rule, mercury emissions are to be reduced from a baseline of 48 tons per year to 38 tons in 2010 and to 15 tons in 2018. In the rule, EPA s...
District of Columbia's Drinking Water: Agencies Have Improved Coordination, but Key Challenges Remain in Protecting the Public from Elevated Lead Levels
GAO-05-344: Published: Mar 31, 2005. Publicly Released: May 5, 2005.
Media reports on elevated lead in the District of Columbia's drinking water raised concern about how local and federal agencies are carrying out their responsibilities. The Lead and Copper Rule requires water systems to protect drinking water from lead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Washington Aqueduct treats and sells water to the District Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), which delivers it t...
Clean Air Act: Observations on EPA's Cost-Benefit Analysis of Its Mercury Control Options
GAO-05-252: Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
Mercury is a toxic element that can cause neurological disorders in children. In January 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two options for limiting mercury from power plants, and plans to finalize a rule in March 2005. The first would require each plant to meet emissions standards reflecting the application of control technology (the technology-based option), while the secon...
Drinking Water: Safeguarding the District of Columbia's Supplies and Applying Lessons Learned to Other Systems
GAO-04-974T: Published: Jul 22, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2004.
Concerns have been raised about lead in District of Columbia drinking water and how those charged with ensuring the safety of this water have carried out their responsibilities. The 1991 Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requires water systems to protect drinking water from lead by, among other things, chemically treating it to reduce its corrosiveness and by monitoring tap water samples for evidence of...
Hazardous Waste: EPA's Cleanup of the Eagle-Picher Henryetta, Oklahoma, Site
GAO-03-1051R: Published: Sep 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2003.
From 1996 to 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a cleanup action on a former zinc smelter operated by Eagle-Picher Mining and Smelting, Inc. and other areas contaminated by materials from this site near Henryetta, Oklahoma. EPA's cleanup focused on removing the immediate health threat posed by lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil transported from the Eagle-Picher site to...
Hazardous Materials: EPA's Cleanup of Asbestos in Libby, Montana, and Related Actions to Address Asbestos-Contaminated Materials
GAO-03-469: Published: Apr 14, 2003. Publicly Released: May 15, 2003.
Between 1979 and 1998, the number of deaths in Libby, Montana from asbestosis--a lung disease that progressively restricts breathing and can be fatal--was 40 to 80 times higher than the average for the United States. Vermiculite ore--containing high concentrations of asbestos--was mined at Libby between 1923 and 1990, and accounted for most of the world's vermiculite. Mining, processing, or any di...