Chemical Research/studies

Americans want regulations for safer chemical processes, poll says

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Washington – A poll released Oct. 11 by the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters indicates 55 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the federal government should require chemical facilities to use safer chemicals and processes when they are effective, available and affordable.

Seven percent opposed the idea of new safety requirements.

The coalition, which is made up of more than 100 organizations, is calling on President Barack Obama to continue his efforts to reduce the risks of chemical facility disasters.

In the aftermath of both the fertilizer storage facility explosion that killed 15 people in April in West, TX, and recent hazardous material incidents due to train derailments, Obama issued an executive order directing OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to work together on improving chemical safety and security.

New safety requirements would be “common sense,” former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman said in a coalition teleconference with reporters.

“This is something that has been an obvious issue since 9/11,” she said, referring to the security risks that certain facilities and chemicals pose.