June 20, 2018

HHS Finally Releases Chemical Study Trump Administration Hoped to Suppress

Statement by Michael Halpern, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2018)— Today, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a draft study of PFAS, a widely-used class of chemicals shown to cause numerous adverse health effects. Emailed obtained and released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the White House had intentionally prevented the report’s publication. A bipartisan group in Congress, along with many public health groups, subsequently demanded the draft report be released.

Below is a statement by Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“Public health is far more important than a ‘public relations nightmare’ for the administration. Federal officials are finally doing the right thing by releasing a chemical assessment that was politically suppressed by the White House. Information about these chemicals is essential for the public to understand what they are being exposed to, and for governments to develop plans to clean up contaminated sites.

“Importantly, both Republicans and Democrats recognized the danger of censoring science and called for the report’s immediate release. The White House should not be in the business of deciding what scientific studies are released and what studies are not. Congress should take its responsibilities seriously and step up oversight into political interference in science that causes direct harm to public health and the environment.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.