American petrochemical giant Chevron Phillips Chemical was caught withholding data on the import of 18 toxic chemicals into the United States. According to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), the company has been deceiving authorities and filing inaccurate data in reports for several years. Reuters…
What specific hazardous chemicals Chevron Phillips Chemical imported into the country illegally is not specified. Under US law, companies are required to report toxic materials imported in excess of 25,000 pounds (11 kilograms) to government agencies, and for a number of highly hazardous chemicals the threshold is reduced to 2,500 pounds (1.1 kilograms).
The data are necessary for a reliable assessment of the negative impact of toxins on plant workers, the population of settlements adjacent to enterprises, as well as on consumers who, in one way or another, come into contact with hazardous substances. If Chevron Phillips Chemical is proven guilty, the company’s fines could range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Reuters previously reported that the company withheld imports of more than 350 million pounds (158 million kilograms) of benzene used in commercial and household products. According to numerous researchers, the chemical causes cancer in humans.
“Chevron Phillips Chemical’s reporting and compliance issues are clearly on the increase. There is a systemic problem, ”said Robert Sussman, CEH lawyer and ex-US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official.
In mid-July, the United States passed the world’s first law that prohibits the use of non-degradable toxic compounds PFAS (PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the manufacture of cosmetics, packaging materials, clothing and many other products. The new rules will be mandatory from 2023, but only in one state of Maine. Activists who fight to protect human health and the environment hope that such a law will soon be adopted at the national level.