March 15, 2005 |
The Bush administration plans today to unveil its long-awaited rule cutting mercury emissions from power plants, the first such step by the federal government. But the regulation already has drawn angry criticism from environmentalists, public health advocates and lawmakers who said it failed to protect the public -- especially young children.
March 7, 2005 |
Drug maker Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury-based preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. In September 1999, amid rising concern about the risks of mercury in childhood vaccines, Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved a preservative-free version of its hepatitis B vaccine. "Now, Merck's infant vaccine line," the company's press release said, "is free of all preservatives."
February 26, 2005 |
In a victory for the United States, world environmental leaders on Friday rejected the idea of a binding treaty to curb the use of mercury and instead decided to foster voluntary partnerships with industries to try to accomplish the same thing.
February 22, 2005 |
Environmental ministers meeting in Nairobi this week to tackle one of the most widespread pollutants will be asked to choose between strict curbs on mercury proposed by the European Union and a voluntary approach advocated by the United States. The EU is calling for deadlines, bans and detailed promises, whereas the U.S. prefers partnerships between industries and governments with no specific goals or deadlines for reducing either the global supply or demand of mercury.
February 8, 2005 |
A memo from Merck & Co. shows that, nearly a decade before the first public disclosure, senior executives were concerned that infants were getting an elevated dose of mercury in vaccinations containing a widely used sterilizing agent. The March 1991 memo, obtained by The Times, said that 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish.
February 4, 2005 |
The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general said Thursday that the Bush administration violated established scientific practices and regulatory requirements in drafting a controversial proposal to control mercury emissions from power plants. The agency's internal watchdog determined that EPA officials failed to fully assess the health costs of mercury and understated how much emissions could reasonably be reduced.
January 26, 2005 |
A new report has found that nine chlorine factories are among the nation's largest sources of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that spreads globally and has rendered some seafood unsafe to eat. To be released today, the report, written by the environmental group Oceana, documents what it calls a "long-overlooked" source of mercury polluting the air. The findings are based on a review of toxic inventories filed by the chemical companies. The chlorine industry and the U.S.
November 7, 2004 |
Despite an earlier promise, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency hasn't yet ordered new studies to help resolve a controversy over controlling mercury emissions. The reason, said EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt, was that he had doubts about the assumptions the agency made in arriving at its conclusions. He said he was challenging the way the EPA determined how rapidly it could reduce pollution.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2004 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday signed a bill to sharply restrict the mercury content in vaccines for pregnant women and babies, handing a victory to parent activists across the country who have blamed mercury for a surge in autism and other neurological disorders in children.
August 27, 2004 |
The state Assembly on Thursday voted to eliminate a mercury-based preservative from vaccines given to infants and pregnant women and sent the measure to the governor's office, where its fate is uncertain. The vote was 48 to 21 in favor of the bill, which has drawn nationwide attention amid bitter conflict over possible risks from the chemical thimerosal, which is about half ethyl mercury. Earlier this week, the measure passed the state Senate, 22 to 13, despite opposition from leading vaccine maker Aventis Pasteur Inc. Lawmakers "basically said no to special interests' profits and yes to children's health," said Rick Rollens, a Granite Bay father of an autistic son who lobbied for the bill.