Chemical Industry Executive Nominated to Lead Consumer Watchdog Agency

WASHINGTON — President Trump has tapped Nancy B. Beck, a former chemical business govt, to guide the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an unbiased federal company charged with protective the general public in opposition to risks like poisonous elements in merchandise.

Dr. Beck up to now led the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrative center of chemical protection, a place she got here to after serving because the senior director of regulatory science coverage on the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying staff for the chemical business.

Democrats and environmental teams on Tuesday criticized Dr. Beck’s nomination as chair of the fee and accused her of the usage of her earlier govt positions to advance the time table of the chemical business.

During her time on the E.P.A., Dr. Beck oversaw the rewriting of an Obama-era rule in 2017 on a category of chemical substances referred to as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl elements, or PFAS, which can be connected to start defects, in some way that may cause them to more difficult to control. She additionally helped reduce proposed bans on different elements like asbestos and methylene chloride, a perilous chemical present in paint thinners, in want of restricted restrictions.

White House officers famous that Dr. Beck holds a Ph.D. in toxicology and has greater than 20 years of public well being revel in that specialize in chance overview. Andrew R. Wheeler, the administrator of the E.P.A., praised her paintings enforcing the Toxic Substances Control Act, a legislation that regulates the distribution and use of cancer-causing chemical substances. He additionally credited her with developing a new action plan that the agency unveiled last month to regulate PFAS and related chemicals in drinking water.

For more climate news sign up for the Climate Fwd: newsletter or follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

“Dr. Beck has served this nation with honor and integrity, and I fully support her nomination,” Mr. Wheeler stated in a remark.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public well being advocacy group, stated the hot motion to offer protection to the general public from water contaminants got here handiest after intense force from Congress, and criticized the E.P.A. for failing to imagine rules previous. On Tuesday the gang’s president, Ken Cook, referred to as Dr. Beck’s observe document “riddled with disregard” for the hazards that poisonous chemical substances pose to human well being.

“Nancy Beck is the last person who should be in charge of safeguarding the American people from dangerous products,” he stated in a remark.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission investigates the security of goods, starting from finding out whether or not drawstrings on youngsters’s’ coats and sweatshirts pose a choking chance, or whether or not to factor a recall of lead-tainted toys from China. Watchdog teams say the company, which used to be created in 1972 to offer protection to the general public in opposition to “unreasonable risks” from shopper merchandise suffers from finances cuts and inadequate team of workers to observe the greater than 15,000 regulated pieces.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is predicted to imagine Dr. Beck’s nomination sooner than it reaches the Senate ground for a affirmation vote.