United States
          Environmental Protection
May 1980
          Toxic Substances
xvEPA    Dealing With
          Toxic Chemicals
          A Citizen's Role

This   handbook  supplements  an  11-minute  slide-tape   presentation
developed  by the Public Participation Staff of EPA's Office  of Pesticides
and Toxic  Substances.  The  presentation, along  with  this publication,
outlines the prevalent toxic substances issues, the major laws that address
their  control,  and how citizens  can take  an active role in  toxic-related
Credits: Aerial slide of Love Canal, W.  Phillipson, c/o  Photography Unit, Division  of
Laboratories and Research, New York State Health Department; Asbestos-covered pipe, c/o
Division of Environmental and Industrial Disease Control, Environmental Health Administra-
tion, Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Slide Presentation Script	Page 2

Information Contact Sources
(Federal, State, and Local)	Page 9

Instructions for Using Slide-Tape Equipment . . . Page 13

 (1) Blank

 (2) Dealing with toxic chemicals: a citizen's role.

 (3) If you've ever doubted the place of chemicals in twentieth-
    century life, take a look around. Chemicals are everywhere ...

 (4) from the fibers and dyes in our clothes . . .

 (5) to the pesticides used to grow our food . . .

 (6) to the products we rely on daily.

 (7) Since the industrial revolution, industry has developed tens of
    thousands of chemicals. For several decades we've lived with
    and depended on these substances . . .

 (8) because they've touched and improved almost every aspect of
    our daily lives.

 (9) In the last few years, however, we've begun to realize that in
    some cases we may be paying a high price for our pervasive
    use of chemicals, in terms of human health and environmental

(10) Love Canal, New York, is one example. Here, chemical wastes
    leaked from their disposal site and contaminated the surround-
    ing  neighborhood. Unusually high rates of miscarriage, birth
    defects, and cancer were  reported by residents to New York
    State health officials.

(11) Then there are  PCBs. For years, industry used polychlorinated
    biphenyls, or PCBs, mainly as coolants in electrical equipment.

(12) However,  they have  caused serious human harm .  . . skin
    lesions,  swollen limbs, eye and liver problems, and possibly
    cancer  and birth'defects.  Due to their toxicity, PCBs can no
    longer be made in this country. Even so, PCBs will persist in our

     environment for years to come because they break down very

 (13) Their  presence has already contaminated our food  supply,
     necessitating destruction of PCB-contaminated chickens and
     cattle and the cautious use of fish from certain lakes and rivers.

 (14) Even  our schools and other public buildings, as well as our
     homes, may contain chemical risks in the form of asbestos.

 (15) Asbestos was once a  standard fireproof ing and insulation
     material in pipes, ceilings, and roofs.

 (16) If asbestos  materials deteriorate and disperse asbestos fibers
     into the air, we face the danger  of inhaling asbestos particles
     that can cause lung inflammation and cancer.

 (17) Unfortunately, these are not rare incidents, but illustrations of
     our  widespread  and  complex  toxic  chemical  problem.
     Sometimes it seems that chemical hazards are everywhere,
     and that there's little we can do. But much is being done
     already, and there's more for us  to do.

 (18) Before we see where you can get more information and what
     you can do, let's see how Federal, State, and local governments
     are working to identify and  solve these  problems  through
     numerous environmental protection laws. Recent Federal laws
     address  the  pollution  problems   of  chemicals   in  the

 (19) For example. The Clean Water Act is designed  to restore the
     chemical, physical,  and biological  integrity  of the Nation's

 (20) The Clean Air Act sets standards for air quality.

 (21) The treatment, storage, and disposal oi hazardous wastes are
     covered under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

(22) The Occupational Safety and Health Act authorizes setting ex-
    posure standards for toxic  and  hazardous materials  in the

(23) Other such laws concern testing, licensing, or registration of
    chemical products, or products that have chemicals in them.
    For example. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodent-
    icide Act requires registration of pesticides and their uses
    before manufacture.

(24) The Consumer Product Safety Act and The Federal Hazard-
    ous Substances Act limit or prevent the public from being
    exposed to toxic or other  hazardous materials in consumer

(25) One of the newest and most far-reaching tools for dealing with
    toxic substances is the Toxic Substances Control Act or TSCA.
    Administered by EPA, TSCA is a very broad-based and com-
    prehensive act. It enables the Government to take preventive
    action on new chemical substances and to  control ex/sting

(26) Under TSCA, EPA can gather chemical information from manu-
    facturers, processors, and importers; identify potentially harm-
    ful  substances and require industry to test them; review new
    chemicals and new uses of chemicals before manufacture; and,
    when necessary, take action to control chemicals that pose
    unreasonable risks.

(27) These measures range from requiring simple labeling to com-
    pletely banning certain chemicals.

(28) But you are probably asking yourself, "what can / and other
    citizens do about toxic chemicals? What is our role, and where
    do we go for information and action?"

(29) To be most effective, it is usually best to work close to the site
    of the problem, at the local. State, or regional level.

 (30) You can start right in your home, by becoming aware of pos-
     sible chemical problems and of what chemicals your family
     may be exposed to.

 (31) Carefully check your  home for  damaged  or deteriorating
     asbestos material around pipes or on ceilings  and  for other

    hazardous materials. Read labels on home and garden sprays;
    by law, manufacturers are required to provide information on
    contents and proper use.

(32) If you or a member of your family works with chemicals, find
    out exactly what chemicals they are. Insist on full information
    about them and learn how they should be handled for minimum

(33) If you come upon an immediate toxic chemical problem, such
    as a chemical spill into a waterway, call the Coast Guard's
    National Response Center and  the local EPA office. Both are
    listed under "U.S. Government" in the phone book.

(34) Sometimes a pattern  to  toxic  chemical  effects will provide
    evidence of a particular problem. Try to gather all pertinent
    facts. This helps to clarify and define the problem and may sug-
    gest solutions.

(35) For example, an unusual number of cases of animal or human
    disease, such as cancer cases in local residents, may suggest a
    pollution problem. Health officials  may have records to check
    that would clarify trends, and they can initiate studies to deter-
    mine the source of the problem.

(36) If you've found what appears to be a persistent chemical prob-
    lem, you should  be able  to obtain information and action at
    county and State agencies.  Contact the proper authorities in
    departments  of environmental protection, water resources,
    water management, solid waste, or public health.

(37) If you have no specific grievance, but want to keep apprised of
    local activities to prevent  problems,  find  out  which local
    government offices handle environmental affairs.

(38) Also check to see what toxic substances provisions are in
    Federal and State laws. These include water pollution, land use,
    and other environmental laws.

(39) To learn how you can get involved in State-level activities, con-
    tact a representative of your State government for advice.

(40) Find out about permits issued through your State's department
    of health, environmental protection, or natural resources. State
    officials may be able to tell you which chemicals are being
    manufactured, processed, and disposed of,  how this is being
    done, and whether the substances are likely to be harmful.

(41) EPA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., provides information
    on toxic chemicals and environmental laws. Also, each of its 10
    regional offices can provide this information. Start by checking
    with the EPA toxic substances coordinator in your nearest EPA
    regional office.

(42) Several information sources are useful for monitoring Federal
    developments  in  a  particular  area  of pollution  or toxic
    substances law.

(43) The daily Federal Register publishes the rules  of all Federal
    agencies.  It tells you about proposed  rulemaking; describes
    proposed rules  or issues; quotes  the legal authority; and gives
    the  date, place,  and nature  of  the  hearings  on proposed

(44) It also contains the final rule, which is written only after the
    public has commented on the proposed rule.

(45) The Code of Federal Regulations contains the body of Federal
    regulation, organized by subject

(46) For information about public hearings on environmental issues,
    including permits and  licenses, look in the legal notices section
    of your local newspaper and check the Federal Register. Have
    your name placed on an agency mailing list to receive informa-
    tion regularly.

(47) Don't forget your congressman and senator. They can obtain
    information  for you  or direct  you to  the proper information

(48) Almost all environmental protection laws include provisions
    for citizen participation.  Under TSCA, for example, you  can
    petition to issue, amend, or repeal a rule, and you can take civil
    action against individuals or Government agencies.

(49) In the past environmental groups have had major impacts on
    environmental policy. In 1976, for example, four environmental
    groups filed a suit under the Clean Water Act which caused a
    major review of limitations for industrial effluents.

(50) Legal action on the Federal level, however, is costly and time
    consuming, and desired results can often be achieved through
    efforts at the State and local levels.

(51) Today, we live with and depend on tens  of  thousands of
    chemicals in every aspect of our daily lives.

(52) Yet we also now know how harmful some chemicals can be to
    environment. . .

(53) to our health, and possibly, our futures.

(54) Government  agencies  are tackling  the problem  at local.
    State, regional, and national levels. But Government cannot act
    alone .  ..

(56) even with the legislation to control and prevent toxic chemical

(56) The problems associated with chemical use belong to all of us.
    And now that we have the information systems and the legal
    structures to act...

(57) it's up to all of us to use them.

(58) (0)

(59) (0)

(60) Blank



 For assistance and information on toxic chemicals and other environmental issues,
 contact either the Toxic Substances Program or the Public Awareness Office of the
 nearest EPA regional office.
  Region 1: Connecticut Maine,  Massachusetts, New Hampshire,  Rhode
  Island, Vermont
  Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
  Phone: (617) 223-0585                 Phone: (617) 223-7223
                          Address for either office:
                      John F Kennedy Federal Building
                        Boston, Massachusetts 02203

  Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
  Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
  Phone: (212) 264-4296                 Phone: (212) 264-2515
                          Address for either office:
                             26 Federal Plaza
                        New York, New York 10007

  Region  3: Delaware,  Maryland,  Pennsylvania,  Virginia,  West Virginia,
  District of Columbia
 Toxic Substances Program             Public Awareness Office
  Phone: (215)  5974058                 Phone: (215) 597-9370
                          Address for either office:
                          6th and Walnut Streets
                      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

 Region  4: Alabama,  Florida,  Georgia,  Kentucky,   Mississippi,  North
 Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
 Toxic Substances  Program             Public Awareness Office
 Phone:(404)881-3864                 Phone:(404)881-3004
                         Address for either office:
                        345 Courtland Street, N.E.
                          Atlanta, Georgia 30308

 Region 5:  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (312) 353-2291                  Phone: (312) 353-2072
                        Address for either office:
                        230 South Dearborn Street
                          Chicago, Illinois 60604

Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (214) 767-2734                 Phone: (214) 767-2630
                         Address for either office:
                        First International Building
                           Dallas, Texas 75270

Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (816) 374-3036                 Phone: (816) 374-5894
                         Address for either office:
                          1735 Baltimore Street
                       Kansas City, Missouri 64108

Region  8:  Colorado,  Montana, North Dakota,  South Dakota,  Utah,
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (303) 837-3926                 Phone: (303) 837-5927
                         Address for either office:
                           1860 Lincoln Street
                         Denver, Colorado 80203

Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii,  Nevada
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (415) 55&4606                 Phone: (415) 556-6695
                         Address for either office:
                           215 Fremont Street
                      San Francisco, California 94105

Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Toxic Substances Program              Public Awareness Office
Phone: (206) 442-1090                 Phone: (206) 442-1203
                         Address for either office:
                           1200 Sixth Avenue
                        Seattle, Washington 98101
To obtain information and publications on toxic chemicals and other environmental
issues, or to report an environmental problem in your community, contact:

                   Public Information Center (PM-215)
                    Environmental Protection Agency
                         Washington, D.C. 20460
                              (202) 755-0707

(The information distributed by this office is written in non-technical language for
the general public).

For information and publications on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),

                                Office of
                Pesticides and Toxic Substances (TS-799)
                    Environmental Protection Agency
                         Washington, D.C. 20460
                          800-424-9065 (toll free)
                     554-1404 (In Washington, D.C.)

(The information distributed by the Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances is
primarily material to assist the chemical industry in its compliance with TSCA provi-
sions; therefore, it is more technical in nature than the information issued by the
office listed above.)

To contact the Public Participation Staff of EPA's Office of Pesticides and Toxic
Substances, write or call:

                                Office of
                Pesticides and Toxic Substances (TS-793)
                        Public Participation Staff
                    Environmental Protection Agency
                         Washington, D.C. 20460
                              (202) 755-4854
On the State level most environmental planning and problems are handled under
offices of the Governor. Your Governor's office will refer you to the appropriate
environmental or public health affairs office for toxic chemical concerns.

Phone local authorities—police, fire department or local health department
to advise them of the spill.
Also report all oil or hazardous material spills to the Coast Guard at the emergency
number listed  below. They will immediately contact the nearest Federal EPA
Regional Office and take any other necessary action to control the spill and its

                           U.S. Coast Guard
                       National Response Center
                             (800) 424-8802
                       (toll free/24-hour service)
                     426-2675 (in Washington, D.C.)
The Federal Register (published 5 days a week) and The Code of Federal
Regulations (several volumes published annually) carry notices of proposed and
final Federal regulations. To obtain copies of either of these, contact Government
depository libraries or write to:

                     Superintendent of Documents
                    U.S. Government Printing Office
                        Washington, D.C. 20402

Information about national environmental developments is available in the EPA
Journal. For an annual subscription, send a check or money order for $12 ($15 for
a foreign address) to:

                     Superintendent of Documents
                    U.S. Government Printing Office
                        Washington, D.C. 20402

A recorded phone announcement from the Federal Register Office provides infor-
mation on upcoming Federal Register contents. This service, known as Dial-A-
Reg. highlights the information contained in the following day's Federal Register.
Dial-A-Reg is currently available in three cities:

Washington, D.C.       Chicago, Illinois          Los Angeles, California
(202) 523-5022           (312) 633-0884            (213) 688-6694

 Instructions  For Using

 Slide-Tape  Equipment


 60 slides
 They are numbered in the sequence in which they are to be placed in the slide tray.
 11-minute cassette tape
 (The tape cassette side you use depends on the kind of tape recorder you
 have—see below.)
 Side (a), labeled "inaudible pulses," silently and automatically advances each slide
at the proper time throughout the narration if the tape recorder is connected to or
"synched" with a projector.
 Side (b), labeled "audible tone," provides an audible "beep" sound throughout the
 narration. At the sound of the beep, you advance to the next slide by using a
 manual control unit. The tape recorder and projector do not need to be "synched."

 Projector screen (or a white or light-colored wall).
Slide projector.
Slide tray.
(Use one with a maximum capacity for 80 slides. Trays that hold up to 140 slides
can present problems, such as slides failing to drop down into place.)
Tape recorder.
To use the side of the cassette tape marked "inaudible pulses," you need a tape
recorder that is "synched" with the projector. (The tape recorder must connect to a
projector to advance the slides.) The recorder must be able to play back 1,000 Hz
To use the side of the cassette tape marked  "audible tone," you need a tape
recorder that can handle a cassette. Advance slides manually each time the "beep"
sound is heard.

 Put slides in the tray with numbers in the upper righthand corner. Start the show by
 projecting the first (blank) slide and beginning the tape. If you are using the inaudi-
ble pulsed side of the tape, with a projector synched to the tape recorder, the slides
will advance automatically. If you are using the audible pulsed side of the tape, you
 must advance the slides manually each time you hear a "beep" sound.

 If you do not have a tape recorder, read the script provided at the front of this hand-
 book and change the slides as indicated. Focus the second slide (the first is a
 blank), and then begin reading the script, changing the slide every time a number
appears in the script.