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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

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

Defenseless bees

Posted November 7, 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

The Human Being as Unwitting Research Object for Industrial Chemistry

Posted October 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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There are a few excellent movies that are well-worth viewing if you are interested in the connection between environmental pollution and human health. I’ve written a blog about Unacceptable Levels highlighting its excellent use of scientific experts and knowledgeable professionals...continued

Air pollution linked to deadly lung cancer

Posted October 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Air pollution is a killer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization- has classified outdoor air pollution  as "known" to cause cancer in humans (Group 1). Particulate matter -...continued

Crunching the numbers - Atrazine just isn't worth the risk

Posted October 8, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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A rigorous economic report has found Syngenta – the maker of the toxic herbicide atrazine – greatly exaggerated the costs of eliminating the weed-killing chemical. It turns out that when independent experts (not paid by Syngenta) crunch the numbers, a...continued

USFDA Allows Chemicals in Food Despite Lack of Toxicity Testing

Posted August 14, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Chemicals are added to food to preserve, flavor, thicken, or otherwise alter it in some desirable way. Used this way, the chemicals are called ‘food additives’. In other contexts the same chemicals may be considered industrial chemicals or pesticides. For...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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