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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29704/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29748/
Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations
This report examines various estimates of the effects that the herbicide Agent Orange has had on Vietnam's people and environment, the history of U.S. policy on the issue, the current clean up efforts in Vietnam, the various forms of assistance -- including U.S. assistance -- provided to people with medical conditions associated with dioxin exposure, and the implications for bilateral relations. It concludes with a brief discussion of possible congressional responses to the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26299/
Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations
According to various estimates, the U.S. military sprayed approximately 11-12 million gallons of Agent Orange over nearly 10% of Vietnamese territory between 1961 and 1971. This report examines various estimates of the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam's people and environment, the history of U.S. policy on the issue, the current clean-up efforts in Vietnam, the various forms of assistance -- including U.S. assistance -- provided to people with medical conditions associated with dioxin exposure, and the implications for bilateral relations. It concludes with a brief discussion of possible congressional responses to the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26298/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
The statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes, granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the 109th Congress, expires in October 2009. The 111th Congress is taking action to reauthorize this program, but the manner of its reauthorization remains an issue of congressional deliberation and debate. Key policy issues debated in previous Congresses are likely to be considered during the reauthorization debate. These issues include what facilities should be considered as chemical facilities; the appropriateness and scope of federal preemption of state chemical facility security activities; the availability of information for public comment, potential litigation, and congressional oversight; and the role of inherently safer technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26182/
The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation
The federal role in assisting states and communities to clean up brownfield sites -- real property affected by the potential presence of environmental contamination -- has been an ongoing issue for more than a decade. While there appears to be a broad consensus that a federal role in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields is desirable, issues regarding the degree of financial assistance and overall program effectiveness have been raised. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10803/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10735/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10733/
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment, tend to accumulate as they move up the food chain, and may be harmful to people and wildlife. Between 1998 and 2001, the United States signed tow international treaties and one executive agreement to reduce the production and use of POPs and to regulate the trade and disposal of them. This report discusses these treaties in detail, as well as their ratification process and U.S. statutes that are inconsistent with these treaties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10661/
Military Base Closures: Cleanup of Contaminated Properties for Civilian Reuse
In 2005, the 109th Congress approved a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. As the Department of Defense (DOD) implements the new round, issues for Congress include the pace and costs of closing and realigning the selected installations and the impacts on surrounding communities. The disposal of surplus property has stimulated interest among affected communities in how the land can be redeveloped to replace jobs lost as a result of the planned closures. Environmental contamination can limit the potential for economic redevelopment if the availability of funding or technological capabilities constrains the degree of cleanup needed to make the land suitable for its intended use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10627/
Perchlorate Conatmination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10617/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10616/
Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress
How to safely dispose of wastes from producing nuclear weapons has been an ongoing issue. The most radioactive portion of these wastes is stored in underground tanks at Department of Energy (DOE) sites in Idaho, South Carolina, and Washington State. There have been concerns about soil and groundwater contamination from some of the tanks that have leaked. This report provides background information on the disposal of radioactive tank waste, analyzes waste disposal authority in P.L. 108-375, and examines potential implications for environmental cleanup. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10226/
Chemical Facility Security
The potential for United States hazardous chemical facilities to become the targets of terrorist attacks is a concern which Congress has begun to address in earnest. While the likelihood of such attacks is low at present, Congress enacted legislation that requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to analyze such facilities and suggest enhancements in security and infrastructure. Such legislation--and future like legislation--could include requiring certain environmental and security standards in the future construction of new hazardous chemical facilities. Congress is focusing on educating the public and holding facility owners accountable to increase security, rather than simply restricting terrorists' access to information about the United States' chemical facility infrastructure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10459/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10458/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10460/
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)
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Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
The Superfund program for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10036/
Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation: Health Effects and Regulation
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U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress
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Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation: Health Effects and Regulation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9570/
U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9975/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9917/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9770/
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
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Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9417/
Legislative Approaches to Chemical Facility Security
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Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9340/
Senate Proposals to Enhance Chemical Facility Security
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Predator Control and Compound 1080
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Pesticides Regulation: Current Issues
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Pesticide Use and Water Quality : Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9205/
Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9217/
Nuclear Explosions in Space: The Threat of EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9172/
Legislative Approaches to Chemical Facility Security
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10837/
Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9168/
Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9119/
Asian Soybean Rust: Background and Issues
This report discusses the background and issues regarding Asian soybean rust (ASR) that was discovered in the United States in an experimental field in Louisiana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating a plan to deal with ASR that encompasses various USDA agencies, state land-grant universities, and industry participants. The arrival of ASR has implications for several public policies including pest control research (particularly the development of resistant varieties), pesticide regulation, disaster assistance, and crop insurance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9102/
Dioxin: Environmental Impacts and Potential Human Health Effects
This issue brief presents a short background on the physical/chemical properties of dioxin, describes several existing sources of possible human exposure, and highlights what is currently known about its environmental impacts and human health effects. Congressional interest is intense at this time because of large numbers of Vietnam veterans' claims for benefits associated with use of herbicides in that war as well as because of certain incidents of potential significance to health involving disposal of wastes containing dioxin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8838/
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8714/
Agent Orange: Veterans' Complaints Concerning Exposure to Herbicides in South Vietnam
From 1962 to 1971, the United States Air Force (USAF) sprayed various herbicide mixtures (chemicals that kill plants) in South Vietnam. The purpose of the spraying was to defoliate jungle growth to deprive the Communist forces of ground cover, and to destroy enemy crops to restrict food supplies. The most extensively used of these herbicide mixtures was known as Agent Orange, a 50:50 mix of two common herbicides called 1,4,5-T and 2,4-D (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). The third chemical present in the mixture in small amounts was TCDD, an inevitable by-product of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T. This chemical, called tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin or simply "dioxin," is highly toxic to laboratory animals when administered in its pure form. CRS has been unable to locate any report of a human death from exposure to pure TCDD. This report discusses the human health effects that have occurred from exposure to TCDD, as well as related Congressional concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8607/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8643/
Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation
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EDB and the Agriculture Community: A Background Discussion
EDB is being removed from major agricultural uses because of concerns about possible adverse effects on human health. Regulatory actions to remove EDB from the food system will have impacts on the agricultural community. Uses of EDB in agriculture, regulatory actions to remove EDB from the food system quickly, and possible impacts of those regulatory actions on domestic and international markets are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8514/
Marine Security of Hazardouse Chemical Cargo
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8227/
Ethylene Dibromide
Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8168/
Ethylene Dibromide: History, Health Effects, and Policy Questions
Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8090/
Ethylene Dibromide: Regulatory Background
Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8089/
Chemical Facility Security: A Comparison of S. 157 and S. 994
The 108th Congress is considering legislation to reduce chemical facilities’ vulnerability to acts of terrorism, so as to protect critical sectors of the U.S. infrastructure and reduce risks to public health and the environment. Competing bills, S. 994 and S. 157, have been introduced into the Senate. Both would require chemical facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop and implement site security plans, but the approaches of the bills differ with respect to the chemicals and facilities covered, planning requirements and mechanisms for federal and facility accountability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8000/