From Our Monthly Newsletter
The Environmental Protection Agency has just recognized The Ashkin Group as an outstanding Safer Choice Supporter for 2017.
We received this award in Washington, DC., and according to the EPA that runs the Safer Choice Program, we were honored because of our help promoting the value of the program and our efforts in encouraging full ingredient disclosure on product labeling.
This is our second year receiving this award.
In 2016, we were recognized for our efforts to bring Green disinfectants to the market; for recommending the use of Safer Choice-certified products in the Green Sports Alliance’s Green Cleaning in Sports Facilities workshops; and for highlighting the benefits of the Safer Choice program in over two dozen presentations and webinars throughout North America.
Everyone on the Ashkin Group team thanks the EPA for this award. And we would also like to honor the EPA.
While many honorable people and worthy organizations have questioned some of the actions the EPA has taken over the years, we should not forget the many good things the organization has accomplished since its inception in 1970.
During the EPA’s formative years, it was finding its footing and focused primarily on creating policies regarding environmental issues. But that all changed when the New York Times ran the following front-page story in August 1978:
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.–Twenty-five years after the Hooker Chemical Company stopped using the Love Canal here as an industrial dump, 82 different compounds, 11 of them suspected carcinogens, have been percolating upward through the soil, their drum containers rotting and leaching their contents into the backyards and basements of 100 homes and a public school built on the banks of the canal.
This was a key turning point for the agency. It investigated the situation, conducted testing, and helped secure federal funds to assist with the hazardous cleanup. The agency also took steps to help make sure that something like this never occurred again.
In addition to these efforts, the EPA should also be credited with accomplishing the following over the past 47 years:
Protecting the ozone layer: Back in the early 1980s, reports started coming out that pollution, most of it human-made, was causing parts of the atmosphere to disintegrate. The goal of the EPA at that time was to educate the American people about what was happening, and it appears the agency was successful.
President Ronald Reagan listened to the reports and, to the surprise of many, backed the Montreal Protocol, an agreement signed by 197 countries to ban the use of chlorofluorocarbons, which are used in air conditioning systems and aerosol sprays and can be harmful to the ozone layer.
Raising concerns about lead: In 1985, the EPA released a study that estimated at least 5,000 people die each year from lead-related diseases. The agency had already banned the use of lead in paint, but as more information unfolded about how lead negatively impacts health and even the learning capabilities of children, the EPA set out to ban the use of lead wherever feasible. The agency’s efforts proved successful. By 2002, a study revealed that the level of lead in young children’s blood fell by 80 percent from 1976 to the late 1990s.
Ensuring healthier air: In March 2015, the University of Southern California (USC) released an encouraging study. After studying Southern Californian children aged 11 to 15 over a 20-year period, researchers discovered that today’s children have larger and better functioning lungs than children who grew up in the same communities in the 1990s. According to the study:
Air quality in the Los Angeles basin, as measured in five cities by USC researchers, improved over two decades. That provided a healthy environment for children’s growing lungs. This happened [because] of EPA efforts to crack down on smog in the 1970s and 1980s in Southern California.
Today, the EPA is focused on a variety of environmental issues including climate change. It is hoped that the EPA will be able to keep educating Americans about these challenges and protect our health and the health of our planet.
Until next month…
Also honored by Safer Choice are:
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention