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Jennifer Sass, Senior Scientist, Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Sass

I grew up in the Canadian prairies where I learned to love open spaces, wild places, big skies, long summer nights, cozy cold winters, and the comfort of good friends. I came to the US as a post-doctoral student of toxicology and environmental health. After about a dozen successful years as a bench scientist conducting basic medical research, I wanted to transition into policy work. I joined NRDC in 2001 to work towards strengthening the regulation of toxic chemicals. When not in the office I like to hike, bike, white water kayak, and walk my dog.

Recent Posts

House Republications Push Bill to Weaken Pesticide Regulations - H.R.5447

Posted September 20, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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House Republicans and their industrial agrochemical allies are trying to hijack concern about saving bees to promote a bill that would needlessly weaken pesticide regulation.  The bill (H.R. 5447), introduced by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), would allow highly toxic pesticides...continued

Neonicotinoid pesticides - bad for bees, and may be bad for people too

Posted September 17, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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While public attention has recently focused on the threat to honey bees and bumble bees from neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides, there is growing evidence that another species may be a risk from these pervasive chemicals—humans. Many scientists now say that exposure...continued

EPA fines DuPont $1.8 million for harmful pesticide

Posted September 15, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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EPA announced that it will fine DuPont $1.8 million for its failure to report on the adverse effects of its pesticide product called Imprelis (Sept 15, 2014).   According to EPA's news release, "EPA's ability to protect the public from...continued

National Academies fully supports Report on Carcinogens assessment - formaldehyde still causes cancer, despite industry arguments otherwise

Posted August 8, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The National Academies of Science (NAS) issued its assessment of the cancer risks from formaldehyde, a common and highly toxic chemical found in our furniture, home building materials, and clothing. The National Academies conducted a thorough and rigorous scientific review,...continued

EPA risk assessment finds trichloroethylene (TCE) too toxic for use in dry-cleaners and hobby arts & crafts. Experts say to ban unsafe and unnecessary uses.

Posted July 31, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a highly toxic solvent commonly found in degreasing agents, spot cleaning agents in dry cleaners, and spray fixatives for arts & craft uses. It is linked to heart malformations in exposed fetuses, kidney toxicity including cancer, immunotoxicity,...continued

NRDC petitions EPA to cancel neonicotinoid pesticides

Posted July 7, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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NRDC filed a legal petition today against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking EPA to withdraw its approval of neonicotinoid pesticides (called neonics), given the broad scientific consensus that neonics pose a serious risk to honeybees, wild bees, and other...continued

White House Gets Behind the Bees

Posted June 22, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Pollinators including bees just gained an important ally in the fight to regain their numbers, with the White House memorandum, “New Steps to Protect Pollinators, Critical Contributors to Our Nation’s Economy”. In his memorandum, President Obama directed the EPA and...continued

National Academies heaps praise on the EPA IRIS chemical assessment program

Posted May 6, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The EPA's program to assess the hazards of chemicals - called the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) - earned itself a lot of praise from the prestigous National Academies (NAS) for its adherence to scientific excellence, and to public transparency...continued

Ethylene Oxide - the chemical industry's defense of cancer risk

Posted May 6, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The chemical industry is mounting a defense of its toxic product The EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program released its Draft hazard assessment of ethylene oxide last summer, with its updated evaluation of the cancer risks from inhaling ethylene...continued

Carbon nanotube flame retardants - two wrongs don't make a right

Posted February 24, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Carbon nanotubes are wee little microscopic-sized tubes made of  sheets of carbon atoms, rolled up into a tube like a paper towel roll. One roll is a single walled carbon nanotube, and a few rolls will make a multiwalled carbon nanotube...continued

WV Chemical Spill of MCHM - doing the math on drinking water safety

Posted January 19, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The chemical spill of unknown amounts of crude MCHM, of unknown toxicity, and for an unknown amount of time has left a bad taste in my mouth. The whole thing stinks of too many unknowns. Over 300,000 people across nine...continued

Bee-killing neonic pesticides may also be bad for baby brains

Posted December 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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"Two neonicotinoid insecticides - acetamiprid and imidacloprid - may affect the developing human nervous system, said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)." That was the recent press release from EFSA, reported in The Guardian here. In making its statement, EFSA...continued

Scientific Evidence to Support 'Seven Generations' future thinking; our toxic chemical exposures may harm our great-grandchildren

Posted November 28, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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Native American tribes hold dear the concept of seven generations planning, that the impact of decisions should be considered out seven generations into the future, about 150 years. The idea is that our decisions today should consider the potential benefits...continued

Court Rules in NRDC's Favor to Limit Nanosilver in Clothing

Posted November 19, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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Last week we won a lawsuit we’d filed this past January to block a potent antimicrobial nano-pesticide, from market access.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conditionally registered nanosilver under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use as...continued

More research shows neonic pesticides compromise bee immunity

Posted November 8, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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Our Nation’s bees are in a tail spin, and victims include commercial honey bees, wild bumble bees, and other native bee species.  This isn’t just a bee problem – it’s our problem too because we rely on the pollination services...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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