Trump's EPA is refusing to regulate a dangerous chemical tied to brain damage in infants.
The Trump administration is defying a court order to regulate a toxic chemical often found in drinking water that has been tied to fetal and infant brain damage, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
According to the New York Times' report, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler will declare it is "not in the public interest" to regulate the chemical — perchlorate — even though studies have found that too much exposure to the chemical in pregnant women can lead to problems with fetal development.
This is the latest decision by Trump's EPA to not regulate a toxic chemical that can adversely impact fetuses and children, even though Donald Trump and many in his administration purport to be "pro-life" and oppose abortion.
For example, in 2019, the Trump administration overturned a ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to developmental delays in children. Chlorpyrifos is widely used by farmers, who lobbied the administration to keep using the toxic chemical, according to a New York Times report from at the time.
At the same time, Trump has used graphic language to push for anti-abortion legislation he supports and has cited the "sanctity of life." He has supported so-called "born-alive" abortion bills, which could lead to criminal punishments for doctors who allegedly do not care for fetuses born during abortions — even though there is no evidence to support such a situation ever occurs and legal experts call such legislation unnecessary.
As for perchlorate, defense contractors have fought hard against regulating perchlorate — which is an additive in rocket fuel.
Former President Barack Obama's administration was working to come up with levels of perchlorate it considered safe in drinking water. However, his administration did not issue that guidance before his term expired.
Erik Olson, the senior strategic director of health and food at the Natural Resources Defense Council — which sued to force limits on perchlorate — condemned the Trump administration's decision in an interview with the New York Times.
"Not only is EPA acting in defiance of a court order and the law, it's setting a terrible precedent by ignoring much of the science and allowing such a high level of perchlorate in tap water that it acknowledges is associated with an average 2-point I.Q. loss in exposed kids," Olson said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.