Chemical Policy (TSCA)
There is widespread agreement that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the principle federal statute governing the use and safety of the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to in our everyday lives, is broken and needs to be reformed.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given responsibility but little authority to enforce TSCA. Enacted in 1976, this current law was broken from the start, grandfathering thousands of chemicals already on the market. This law is so broken and so weak that the EPA could not even ban asbestos, a cancer-causing substance that is still in use and killing thousands of Americans each year.
To date, the EPA has only reviewed a few hundred chemicals for safety. There are nearly 85,000 chemicals currently approved for use that the federal government and consumers know little to nothing about.
We need real toxic chemical reform that ensures protection of public health, especially to our vulnerable populations, and the environment from the hazards these chemicals pose.
It is the federal law that industry loves and environmentalists love to hate, yet have been unable to reform since it was enacted a generation ago. But a congressional hearing convened today by Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois may signal the beginning of the end of a federal policy that has made it all but impossible for the government to protect the public health from toxic industrial chemicals.Read More
In its 2009 ‘High Risk’ priority list released yesterday, the General Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a blistering indictment of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Bush-era lapses from its mandate to protect the public from toxic chemicals.Read More
This fall, EPA approved re-registration of antibacterial soap ingredient triclosan for yet another five years of use in consumer products, potentially leaving human and environmental health at great risk.Read More
Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)
Regulatory Public Docket (7502P)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
October 20, 2008Read More
The nation’s top environmental enforcement agency has decided against regulating perchlorate, a component of solid rocket fuel that has been found in the drinking water of millions of Americans.Read More
On the same day Gov. Schwarzenegger touted himself as the leader of a comprehensive chemical reform program, he vetoed a bill that would have made California the first state to ban toxic chemicals known as PFCs – a family of compounds including Teflon – from food packaging.Read More
The nation's toxic chemical regulatory law is broken and fails completely to protect children and other Americans from exposure to dangerous industrial compounds, experts will tell a Senate oversight committee today.Read More
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that carbofuran, already registered as a restricted use pesticide, poses dietary, worker and ecological risks.Read More
EWG issued a statement today at a public meeting held by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling on the government to include public health, consumer, and environmental organizations in upcoming industry-regulator meetings.Read More
EWG's Renee Sharp testifies to the California state Senate about the need to remove BPA and lead from children's products.Read More
In a welcome first step toward fundamental reforms to the way toxic chemicals are reviewed and then used in consumer products, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held its first oversight hearing this Congress looking into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – the nation’s outdated, industry-friendly law that allows virtually any chemical to be used in commerce without first testing for safety.Read More
Three weeks after the launch of a major Congressional investigation into conflicts of interest compromising EPA expert review panels and the revelation that EPA, at the request of the chemical industry, had fired a career public health professional as chair of an important chemical safety review panel, EPA convened yet another panel with members linked to polluting industries.Read More
The powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee today launched a landmark investigation into the chemical industry lobby group, The American Chemistry Council (ACC). In a letter to ACC President Jack Gerard, Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak – the committee chair and its investigations chair – demanded that the industry come clean about the degree to which it has been able to corrupt science at the Environmental Protection Agency.Read More
A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. A companion study published just one day earlier revealed that this chemical is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin.Read More
EWG urges the California Air Resources Board to reverse a proposal that would weaken safety and anti-smog standards for cleaning products, cosmetics and other household products.Read More
Two powerful chairmen of the House committee that oversees the EPA are launching an investigation into the chemical industry’s undue influence on Agency panels that recommend critical public health safeguards for chemical pollutants. The inquiry stems from documents released recently by EWG showing that the EPA sacked a respected public health scientist from the Maine Centers for Disease Control as a panel chair, at the request of the chemical industry lobby group the American Chemistry Council.Read More
At the request of a chemical industry lobbyist, the Environmental Protection Agency removed the chair of an expert peer review panel charged with setting safe exposure levels for a toxic fire retardant that contaminates human blood and breast milk, according to documents obtained by EWG.Read More