This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “noble” cause corruption. Documentation follows. Eric Worrall writes:
h/t IceAgeNow – the American EPA has stunned observers, with a list of inert additives for pesticide formulations they intend to ban, which includes the noble gas Argon.
Its hard to imagine a more inoffensive substance than Argon. As a noble gas, Argon is chemically inert – it participates in no chemical reactions whatsoever, except under exotic conditions – there are no known chemical compounds which can survive at room temperature which include Argon. Argon is not a greenhouse gas.
But Argon is incredibly useful to industry – among other things, is used as a “shield” gas. Anyone who welds Aluminium or Stainless Steel will be familiar with Argon, which is used with MIG and TIG welders, to blow oxygen away from the electric welding arc, to prevent oxidative damage to the weld joint.
Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness, for no benefit whatsoever.
So why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon? IceAgeNow has a theory – they think Argon is part of a list supplied by a scientifically illiterate NGO, which the EPA plans to rubber stamp.
If anyone with any real scientific training whatsoever had seen this silly list before it was published, or had taken the trouble to do 5 minutes of research on each entry in the list, to discover how ridiculous and ignorant the inclusion of Argon on a list of dangerous chemicals to be banned really is, then the EPA would not be facing their current very public embarrassment.
From Anthony: When I first saw this story, I though surely this must be some sort of spoof or misunderstanding that led to this. Sadly, no. The EPA even has a press release about it:
EPA Proposes to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List
Release Date: 10/23/2014
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn Milbourn.firstname.lastname@example.org 202-564- 4355 202-564-4355
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products.
“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”
EPA is taking this action in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others. These groups asked the agency to issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products. EPA developed an alternative strategy designed to reduce the risks posed by hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide products more effectively than by disclosure rulemaking. EPA outlined its strategy in a May 22, 2014 letter: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0003 to the petitioners.
Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal, are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous. The 72 chemicals are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product. Chemicals such as, turpentine oil and nitrous oxide are listed as candidates for removal.
Most pesticide products contain a mixture of different ingredients. Ingredients that are directly responsible for controlling pests such as insects or weeds are called active ingredients. An inert ingredient is any substance that is intentionally included in a pesticide that is not an active ingredient.
For the list of 72 chemical substances and to receive information on how to provide comments, see the Federal Register Notice in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558. To access this notice, copy and paste the docket number into the search box at: http://regulations.gov. Comments are due November 21, 2014.
General information on inert ingredients can be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/inert-ingredients-overview-and-guidance.
Here is the GovSpeak document outlining the removal of 72 items:
And here is the list:
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs
Supporting document to docket# EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558
Listing of 72 chemical substances proposed for removal from the currently approved inert ingredient list.
My locally saved file: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0002 (PDF)
[added] By the way, in case you did not know it, you breath in Argon every day. Argon is the third most common gas in the earth’s atmosphere at 0.93%. That makes it more common than that dangerous carbon dioxide (at ~0.03%)they keep whinging about.