Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sign the petition: Reject chemical industry shill Michael Dourson to head EPA chemical safety office

The petition to the U.S. Senate reads:
"Reject the nomination of long time chemical industry ally Michael Dourson to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Michael Dourson may be the most dangerous Trump administration nominee you've never heard of.
Picked to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) chemical safety division, Dourson is a long time chemical industry shill who has deep ties to Dow, DuPont, Monsanto and the Koch brothers.
He has a long history of greenwashing the deadly effects of toxic chemicals to protect corporate profits and runs an industry-funded "science-for-hire" consulting firm charged with undercutting environmental regulations.1
A man bought and paid for by the chemical industry who has put the health and safety of American families at serious risk should not be in charge of overseeing chemical safety and pollution. We must immediately urge the Senate to reject Dourson's nomination before it comes up for a vote.
For more than two decades, Dourson has been the go-to "voice of the chemical industry" when corporate polluters and chemical manufacturers need misleading research to minimize the effects of toxic chemicals.2 In the 1990s, tobacco giant Philip Morris hired Dourson's firm to generate research downplaying the negative effects of secondhand smoke. He justified his decision to work with Big Tobacco by saying "Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. … Why should we exclude anyone that needs help?"3
Dourson has since made a career of shamelessly defending the chemical industry with shady science and questionable research.4 Multinational chemical manufacturers like Dow, Monsanto and DuPont have routinely hired him to downplay the effects of highly toxic substances found in pesticides and everyday products like cosmetics and shampoo that are linked to birth defects, developmental problems and cancer.5 A now-defunct website his firm built for the chemical industry once claimed that toxic chemicals in children's toys weren't so dangerous since water can be toxic, too, at a high enough volume.6
Dourson's nomination is an extremely dangerous example of putting the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse. Dourson will likely work to roll back critical environmental and chemical safety regulations to benefit his friends in the chemical industry at the expense of the health and well-being of Americans across the country.
As Ken Cook, the head of the Environmental Working Group, put it, "Handing the keys to EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention to Dourson, who has spent a career opposing both, makes about as much sense as letting the CEO of Philip Morris run the American Lung Association."7
The Senate is set to vote on Dourson's nomination any day now. We must sound the alarm now before the Trump administration quietly installs another industry hack to undermine the EPA and put public health and lives at risk.
Tell the Senate: Reject Michael Dourson's nomination to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Water Online, "Hidden Carcinogen Taints Tap Water, Consumer Products Nationwide," Sept. 6, 2017.
  2. Associated Press and Guardian staff in New York, "Trump's pick for chemical safety chief called 'voice of the chemical industry,'" The Guardian, Sept. 20, 2017.
  3. Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song, " One-Stop Science Shop Has Become a Favorite of Industry—and Texas," InsideClimate News, Dec. 19, 2017.
  4. Richard Denison, "Modus operandi: How EPA toxics nominee Dourson carries out his work for the chemical industry," Environmental Defense Fund, Sept. 18, 2017.
  5. Sheila Kaplan and Eric Lipton, Chemical Industry Ally Faces Critics in Bid for Top E.P.A. Post," The New York Times, Sept. 19, 2017.
  6. Jack Pratt, "Shifting the burden for toxics with a sneaky website: one more reason Dourson shouldn’t lead EPA toxics office," Environmental Defense Fund, Sept. 14, 2017.
  7. Environmental Working Group, "EWG Report: Trump’s Pick to Protect Americans from Toxic Substances is Longtime Shill for Chemical Companies," Sept. 14, 2017.

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