2020 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2020 10:14:16 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] "EPA scientists found a toxic chemical damages fetal hearts. The Trump White House rewrote their assessment."
EPA scientists found a toxic chemical damages fetal hearts. The Trump White House rewrote their assessment.

By Elizabeth Shogren 
February 28, 2020

WASHINGTON – John DeSesso was on a mission when he entered the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency in late September. Inside the ornate limestone building not far from the White House, he met with a dozen EPA scientists and officials.

He had an extraordinary opportunity: to persuade the agency to reject the science linking one of the nation’s most widely used chemical toxins, a solvent known as trichloroethylene, or TCE, to fetal heart defects. Chemical companies and their allies inside the government had been working toward this goal for more than two decades.


In his presentation to the EPA that day, DeSesso bypassed that body of evidence again and made the same contentious claim: His findings demonstrated conclusively that TCE does not cause heart defects in rats.

The EPA scientists in attendance had heard DeSesso’s criticisms before. They knew the evidence linking TCE to heart deformities was strong. The EPA had formally analyzed the chemical’s risks in 2011 and again in 2016 and each time had found them to be so severe that, in the waning weeks of the Obama administration, the EPA had proposed bans of several common uses of the chemical altogether.

For the entire article, see

For the associated podcast, go to


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director
Center for Public Environmental Oversight
A project of the Pacific Studies Center
P.O. Box 998, Mountain View, CA 94042
Voice/Fax: 650-961-8918

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