Lead Senior Scientist
Richard A. Denison, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in the environmental arena, specializing in policy, hazard and risk science and policy for industrial chemicals and nanomaterials.
For many years Richard played a central role in pressing for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act and represented EDF in its advocacy work to secure passage in 2016 of the Lautenberg Act that overhauled TSCA for the first time since its passage in 1976. Richard has testified numerous times before various Congressional committees on the need for fundamental reform of US policy toward industrial and consumer chemicals and the policy elements critical for such reform. He now leads EDF’s team working to secure strong implementation of the Lautenberg Act.
Richard has served on several panels of the National Academy of Sciences, including its Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions and its Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. He also was a member of NAS’ Committee to Develop a Research Strategy for Environmental, Health and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials. He was a member of EDF’s team that worked jointly with the DuPont Corporation to develop a framework governing responsible development, production, use and disposal of nanoscale materials.
Richard is a frequent contributor to EDFHealth’s blog, where he posts both commentary and detailed analyses of the emerging science and policies affecting chemicals and nanomaterials in the U.S. and internationally.
Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University.
Denison joined EDF in 1987, after several years as an analyst and assistant project director in the Oceans and Environment Program, Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress.
- Author, Robust new chemical reviews vital to restoring confidence in TSCA Chemical Watch, Global Business Briefing, June 2017
- Author, A primer on the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and what led to it [PDF] (2017)
- Author, Why passage of the Lautenberg Act is a really big deal [PDF], Bureau of National Affairs, Daily Environment Report (2016)
- Author, Chemical Safety Reform: Will the Center Hold? [PDF] The Environmental Forum (2014).
- Co-author, Toxics Across America: Who Makes the Billions of Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Flowing Through the U.S. Economy Each Year (2014).
- Author, TSCA Reform: Information Confidentiality, Availability, and Sharing Environmental Law Reporter (2012).
- Author, TSCA Reform: The Current Safety Standard Environmental Law Reporter, (2012).
- Author, Ten Essential Elements in TSCA Reform [PDF], Environmental Law Reporter (2009).
- Author, Not That Innocent: A Comparative Analysis of Canadian, European Union and United States Policies on Industrial Chemicals (2007).
- Author, Across the Pond: Assessing REACH’s First Big Impact on U.S. Companies and Chemicals (2008).
- Author, High Hopes, Low Marks: A final report card on the HPV Challenge (2007).
- Co-author, “Getting Nanotechnology Right the First Time [PDF],” Issues in Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (2005).
- Richard Denison YouTube channel
- featuring congressional testimonies on TSCA reform.
- NPR’s Morning Edition, January 2014: “Weeks Later, More Questions Than Answers In W.Va. Chemical Spill”
- PRI’s Living on Earth, January 2014: “Bad Data for Bad Water”
- KCRW’s To The Point, January 2014: “West Virginia Water Crisis Throws Spotlight on Water Safety”
- NPR’s All Things Considered, January 2014: “The Catch-22 In The Toxic Chemicals Law”
- Living on Earth, September 2013: “EPA Scraps Chemical Safety Rules” | Transcript
- NPR’s On Point, May 2013: “Toxic Chemicals: A New Push to Get a Grip”
- Living on Earth, July 2012: “Chemicals and Health”
- Chicago Public Radio, October 2008: “US Produces Chemicals Deemed Dangerous by EU”
- Living on Earth, August 2008: “Few Rules on Nanotech”
“Illegal, unscientific, and un-health protective”: Summing up EPA’s final methylene chloride risk evaluation
June 19, 2020
June 12, 2020
May 29, 2020
NGOs call on EPA to revise the draft scopes for its upcoming risk evaluations to comply with TSCA and its own regulations
May 14, 2020
Former chemical industry official Beck, now at Trump White House, again interferes to weaken EPA action on dangerous chemicals: This time it’s PFAS
April 20, 2020
April 1, 2020
EPA’s draft risk evaluation of trichloroethylene contains major scientific flaws that understate the chemical’s risk and demand robust review
March 19, 2020
March 16, 2020
Reveal News exposes Trump Administration’s disregard for protecting the public from a highly dangerous chemical: 5 key takeaways
March 2, 2020
EPA’s draft risk evaluation of carbon tetrachloride is riddled with unsupported exclusions and assumptions
February 21, 2020