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An Unexpected Experience at EPA

2012 August 3

By Anna McGill

When I started my Summer Internship with EPA, I was completely unsure of what to expect. As an economics major, environmental science is not exactly my forte. Yes, I recycle. I try and use less energy and I take public transportation, but I still wasn’t sure how I would hold up among the “greenest” people in the country. I realized, however, that the EPA is responsible for so much more than advocating reusable water bottles or special light bulbs. The people I have worked with this summer have shown me that EPA is genuinely concerned about the health of America and its people, and is striving to teach all of us how we can all help ensure health and happiness for future generations as well.

The efforts of EPA are endless. EPA is not simply filled with scientists conducting experiments, although our country depends on their research—it is filled with people working on numerous topics. If there is one thing I will take away from my experience this summer at EPA, it is the magnitude and depth of the work being pursued by the employees. Some are negotiating with other countries to make sure that the fruit you had for breakfast this morning does not contain an unsafe level of pesticide residues. Others are helping communities and companies take the steps towards sustainability. Some are testifying before Congress. Some are informing the public about potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in our homes and products we use every day, and pushing forward on improving chemical safety. They are keeping tabs on chemicals few of us can even pronounce, while also investigating the newest technologies that can save us valuable time, energy and resources.

This summer I have learned that taking steps to be green are small but helpful contributions toward EPA’s mission: ensuring a healthy, safe, sustainable future for all of us. Even though my time at the EPA is coming to a close, I am certain that the people I have met and worked with this summer will continue advocating for every American. And even though I still can’t seem pronounce the names of some of those chemicals, I know that the professionals at EPA are working tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy, and that is something to be proud of and thankful for.

About the author: Anna is a summer intern in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. She is double majoring in International Politics and Economics and will be a senior at Penn State University this fall.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

11 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    August 3, 2012

    An Unexpected Experience at Those Places.-

    To be greener is not to be green……………..

  2. Arman.- permalink
    August 3, 2012

    An Unexpected Experiences at Those Places.-

    To be greener’s musn’t to be green…………………

  3. GUILLERMO BESSERER permalink
    August 3, 2012

    I live in Mexico and I want to know which are the potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in our homes and products we use every day.
    Gracias

  4. Lina-EPA permalink
    August 3, 2012

    Sr. Besserer,
    Hay numerosas sustancias quimicas en el hogar que pueden resultar nocivos a su salud. Por dicha razon se ha desarrollado una iniciativa para hogares sanos y saludables. He aqui un enlace con mas informacion. Gracias por sus comentarios y favor de visitar nuestros blogs en otra oportunidad:

    Lina Younes

    Healthy Homes Initiative: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/healthyhomes.htm

  5. August 5, 2012

    We all need to be sure that money and greed does not get in the way of trying to protect our planet and fellow human beings.

    Chemicals are not always the solution as their are other options but sometimes these come at a cost.

  6. August 6, 2012

    It seemed that you enjoyed your internship there at the EPA. I was considering doing one myself. My home is completely on off the grid power and we are really concerned about the environment. It is just a simple change that people need to make in their lives to be more green and protect our precious environment. Your post has encouraged me to take the next step forward. Thank you!

  7. August 8, 2012

    I think you are enjoyed more in your internship at EPA.
    ALthough you are economics major you are still interesting in recycling products.

    You are great

    Thank you for posting

  8. August 9, 2012

    I live in Mexico and I want to know which are the potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in our homes and products we use every day.

  9. August 10, 2012

    It is interesting how during your internship that some working with the EPA went as far as worrying about pesticides in the food they were eating. As a raw food organic vegan who is very concerned about health and our environment, it is very wonderful to hear that people who are working within our government’s protection agency are also worried about their health. I have considered on numerous occasions interning with the EPA. I believe it would be an enlightening experience and I appreciate you sharing your experience here. I grow more and more concerned with our environment on a daily basis.

  10. banh kinh do permalink
    August 6, 2013

    Looks so great. Looking forward to it so much, can save us valuable time, energy and resources.

  11. banh kinh do permalink
    August 6, 2013

    It’s great. You can:
    Switch from electric to gas hot water, or gas-boosted solar and you may be eligible for a rebate and incentives to help cut the cost of installation. Not only will your solar hot water system reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it can also save you up to 75% on your hot water bill.
    Gas appliances can be more efficient than electric appliances, so switch to gas if you can. Also, to reduce electricity use when cooking, remember to keep a lid on it! Cooking with pots and pans covered can conserve energy and reduce your bills at the same time.

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