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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 more than 80,000 chemicals currently being used in consumer products 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.

Friday, September 6, 2013

 At the behest of the chemical industry, the Obama administration today backed off its effort to regulate a handful of widely used and highly toxic substances found in many consumer goods.

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News Release
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Earlier this year a disturbing study showed that the brominated fire retardant TBBPA, which is widely used in consumer products, triggers cancer in lab animals. Now a new study suggests that the chemical may do so by interfering with the hormone system and may stimulate estrogen activity in much the same way as the toxic flame retardant it replaced.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, August 29, 2013

I spend lots of time thinking about toxic chemicals, so when I shop I get pretty annoyed. It’s flame retardants again. They’re in everything – kids’ pajamas, nap mats, nursing pillows, even some of those princess tents and kid tunnels.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, August 19, 2013

Everybody – environmentalists and chemical industry executives alike – wants to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. “Outdated” doesn’t begin to describe a law that was cumbersome and weak on the day President Ford signed it – Oct. 11, 1976, to be exact – the day the Chinese government arrested the Gang of Four and the top-selling single was Disco Duck Part I.  

 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

These days, legislation rarely makes it through Congress without support from interest groups on both sides of the issue, forcing lawmakers to draft bills that are largely balanced. Now, however, the American people are being pushed by big polluters to accept “chemical safety” legislation advanced by one of Washington’s most ardent anti-environmental advocates, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), that has virtually zero support in the environmental and public health communities.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, August 5, 2013

Ken Cook tells the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that a chemical-industry backed bill would severely undermine public health and the environment. 

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Video
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

 Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today that toxic chemicals “are polluting people’s bodies – our blood, our fatty tissue and even breast milk.”

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News Release
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What you can’t see can be deadly: virtually invisible, yet absolutely lethal asbestos fibers lead to environmental and occupational diseases that claim the lives of 30 Americans every day.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

 

Testimony of Kenneth A. Cook

President
Environmental Working Group

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, July 29, 2013

Savvy consumers know that cosmetics do not have to be tested and proved safe before making it onto store shelves. Consumer protections for personal care products are outdated and broken, so shoppers must do their own legwork to ensure that the products they buy are safe – by reading labels and using resources such as EWG’s Skin Deep database.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, July 11, 2013

Heather White testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on Regulation of New Chemicals, Protection of Confidential Business Information,  and Innovation

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Thursday, July 11, 2013

Heather White, executive director of the Environmental Working Group, told a House hearing today that under current law chemical manufacturers can market new chemicals without giving federal regulators safety tests. 

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News Release
Thursday, July 11, 2013

ORAL TESTIMONY – HEATHER WHITE

Executive Director
Environmental Working Group

Before the

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced in May lacks key reforms considered critical during earlier Congressional efforts to protect people from dangerous industrial chemicals.  The gold standard is the Kid Safe Chemicals Act, introduced in 2005 by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.  This bill is the pivotal legislation that launched the chemical reform movement in the 21st Century.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, June 28, 2013

Over the last several weeks, officials of the three state agencies charged with protecting California residents from toxic chemical exposures have issued stark warnings about legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate to modernize the federal toxics management law.

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News Release
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Having lived and worked in California most of my life (and spent the last 12 years at EWG), I could not be more proud of my state’s long-time leadership in protecting public health and the environment. 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, June 24, 2013

Industrial chemicals are everywhere in daily life — in personal care productsfurniturehousehold cleaners, toys, and even peanut butter. Because some chemicals once thought harmless have been linked to cancer, neurological problems, asthma, heart disease and other disorders, Americans deserve a strong federal law that ensures that the chemicals they encounter are as safe as possible.   

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Asbestos killed my grandfather, Roger Thomas Lunder. I was a graduate student and studying for a final on the night of December 6, 2000, when my father called to tell me that granddad had died.

At that moment I was reviewing a chapter on occupational lung diseases.  The textbook language -- "For decades asbestos has been known to cause cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, and serious respiratory diseases…" –  seemed cold and clinical when I reflected on the slow, terrifying lung deterioration my grandfather had experienced over the past 14 years.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, June 17, 2013

Why would 34 lawyers and law professors, 24 national non-profit organizations and 13 California-based groups all write Congress to oppose something called the Chemical Safety Improvement Act?

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 could be worse for the public than the law now on the books — the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post

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