The EPA is denying that it’s working with aluminum to protect the environment.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has called the claim “outrageous” and “preposterous.”
The EPA’s latest denial comes after the agency said it will be issuing “advice” on aluminum spray paint to local authorities in the next few weeks.
EPA officials did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
The agency is facing criticism for not being transparent about the process for deciding which chemical to label as a carcinogen, which is what most states and cities require.
The EPA, for example, said that “aluminum was not among the carcinogens identified by the American Cancer Society in its 2015 study on inhalation cancer.”
But EPA scientists say that’s not what happened.
“They said the carcinogenicity of aluminum was in the range of that of benzene,” said Brian Dann, a chemical engineering professor at the University of California, Davis, who has been researching the issue for decades.
“But then they actually did some studies to determine the extent of aluminum toxicity, and they determined aluminum was far less toxic than benzene.”
In response to questions from ABC News, Pruitt said, “The EPA is going to be issuing guidance to the public and the private sector to assist with the formulation of appropriate labels.”
The agency did not respond to requests for more information about the proposed guidance.
What you need to know about the chemical pollution crisis:ABC News’ Peter Jamieson contributed to this report.