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Government Roundup

August 17, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 32

Methylisothiazolinone,­ a commonly used preservative, would be banned in cosmetics that are left on the skin, under a European Union proposal. EU officials previously concluded that the chemical is not safe because of its potential to induce skin sensitization and allergic reactions.

Uranium hexafluoride leaked during maintenance work at an Illinois uranium conversion facility this month, but early reports suggest that no material was released beyond the plant’s boundary. The release triggered an investigation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which plans to issue a report on the incident in coming weeks.

A toxic algae bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last week requires EPA to submit a plan for evaluating and mitigating the human health risk of cyanotoxins to Congress by early November. Last summer, an algae bloom affected the drinking water supply of some 500,000 Ohio residents.

Chemistry data apps that make data sets more accessible are the topic of a new NIST competition. Up to $45,000 in total prizes will be awarded to apps that use one of six data sets, including thermochemical tables, computational chemistry comparisons, and atomic weights and isotopic compositions.

Genetically modified crops will soon be prohibited from being grown in Scotland. The Scottish government plans to take advantage of new European Union rules that allow member states to opt out of growing such crops even when they are approved for cultivation in the EU.


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