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.
If oil and gas companies were injecting potentially toxic fluids into the ground near your home or your children’s schoolyard, wouldn’t you want to know about it?Read More
The American Chemistry Council, a trade association of major chemical makers, is among the largest donors to a fund created to support Sen. David Vitter’s campaign for governor of Louisiana.Read More
As Congress rushes to complete a new law that would seek to “reform” the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act, political spending by chemical companies and their trade association has reached record levels, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Working Group.Read More
Last month, the EPA official responsible for reviewing the safety of chemicals used in thousands of every-day products was asked how many chemicals in use are so dangerous they should get a harder look by the agency to protect public health and the environment.
A revised draft of legislation to update the failed federal law that regulates toxic chemicals, which was released by Republican Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois following stiff criticism of his initial proposal, makes only cosmetic changes to his first draft.Read More
The Chemicals in Commerce Act discussion draft circulated in the House of Representatives earlier this year claims to advance the public interest. We don’t think so.
SAN FRANCISCO – The California Department of Public Health today announced its final drinking water standard for the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium made infamous in the film Erin Brockovich. The state’s new Maximum Contaminant Level of 10 parts per billion is 500 times greater than the level identified as safe by the California Environmental Protection Agency.Read More
Washington, D.C. – The decision by Avon, one of the world’s largest beauty product manufacturers, to remove the antibacterial chemical triclosan from its products is “the latest example of how consumer pressure can improve product safety and change the marketplace,” Environmental Working Group said in a statement today.Read More
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) recently authored the Chemicals in Commerce Act, a discussion draft of legislation purporting to reform our nation’s weak and outdated chemicals management law, the Toxic Substances Control Act.Read More
Should chemicals we encounter every day be safe?
You’d think the answer would be an obvious and resounding “yes.” But if you ask chemical companies – or some lawmakers – they say that “safe” is relative. In their view, chemical companies should be able to use dangerous chemicals if restricting their use to protect people would be too costly.Read More
When 300,000 West Virginians went without water for three weeks earlier this year, most Americans were shocked to learn that health officials and the government didn’t know much about the licorice-smelling chemical that had leaked from a storage facility into the Elk River near Charleston. Hundreds of residents contacted the state’s Poison Control Center to report nausea, vomiting and rashes. Weeks after officials lifted the water ban, complaints of the licorice odor continue and the long-term health effects of the coal-processing substance – 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (Crude MCHM) – are still unknown.
The state of California has launched an important initiative to protect its residents from exposures to toxic substances by calling on industry to find safer alternatives for three widely used chemicals, Environmental Working Group said today in a statement.Read More
Legislation proposed by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) to reform federal chemicals management law would leave the public at even greater risk of exposure to toxic substances than under the outdated current law, said Environmental Working Group in a statement today.Read More
Washington, D.C. – EWG executive director Heather White said that personal care products giant Johnson & Johnson has taken a major step forward by reformulating about 100 of its baby products to remove a potentially harmful chemical and to reduce levels of a second problematic substance.Read More
On January 9, more than 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to process coal – crude MCHM – spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River at a facility owned by Freedom Industries.Read More
EWG executive director Heather White assigned much of the blame for the devastating chemical spill in West Virginia to the nation’s lax chemical safety laws.Read More
EWG’s New Year’s resolution for cosmetic manufacturers: shed bad actor ingredients that disrupt the hormone system, cause allergies and may accelerate skin cancer.Read More
The federal Food and Drug administration has announced proposed rules that could drive unnecessary and potentially dangerous products from the market -- antibacterial hand soaps like those marketed by Dial, Softsoap and CVS.
This is a big deal.Read More
he Environmental Working Group has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the White House to learn whether industry improperly influenced the government’s decision to drop two proposals to strengthen public health protections from toxic chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency withdrew the proposals in September after they had been bottled up at the White House Office of Management and Budget for more than a year.Read More