Industry doesn’t have to test chemicals for safety before they go on the market. EWG steps in where government leaves off, giving you the resources to protect yourself and your family.
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.Read More
Media attention has understandably focused on flooding, especially given the devastating floods that have repeatedly struck the region in recent years.This year, it looks as if the Midwest will dodge the bullet – flooding has been damaging and heart-breaking for those affected, but nothing yet has resembled the scope and devastation of the 1993 and 2008 floods.
But the Corn Belt’s rich soil and streams, especially in Iowa, haven’t been as lucky. The storms that pushed streams and rivers out of their banks have battered largely unprotected cropland soils throughout the region, sending tons of mud and farm chemicals into road ditches and streams across the heartland.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Industrial chemicals are everywhere in daily life — in personal care products, furniture, household 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.Read More
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.Read More
On March 29, 2013, a pipeline carrying tar sands oil ruptured in Arkansas, sending an inky river through a residential neighborhood in the town of Mayflower. A concerned neighbor scooped up a sample of the spilled oil, which Environmental Working Group later arranged to have tested by an independent laboratory.Read More
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?Read More
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Environmental Working Group, the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, has established its own “genius” award to honor Chris Campbell, EWG Vice President of Technology, for his two decades of contributions to the public good.Read More
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.Read More
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has warned Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced in the Senate May 22 would undermine a California law aimed at protecting the public from toxic chemicals in consumer products.Read More
In a blog posted yesterday (June 5), Richard Denison, senior scientist at EDF, sought to explain why his organization supported the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, introduced May 22 by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Sen. David Vitter, R-La. The Environmental Working Group opposes the bil. Dave Andrews, Ph.D., EWG Senior Scientist, has sent this response to EDF.Read More
Environmental Working Group President and co-founder Ken Cook issued the following statement on the passing of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) whose long and distinguished career protecting the environment and public health “positively touched the lives of virtually every singleAmerican.”Read More
A lot of people assume a company can’t sell a chemical until it is has been proved safe.
They’re wrong. Under current law, the Environmental Protection Agency is charged with determining that a chemical is not likely to present an unreasonable risk before it goes on the market. Yet an analysis of the EPA’s approval process has found that the agency has been making that critical decision even though it has not received health and safety data for 85 percent of the new chemicals concocted by the chemical industry. The federal government’s regulatory framework places the burden on EPA to show that chemicals are unsafe instead of forcing chemical companies to show that their creations are safe.Read More
The Environmental Working Group's legal team has concluded that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act proposed last week (May 21) by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.) would provide far weaker protections for public health and the environment than either the ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act, federal law since 1976, or the Safe Chemicals Act, the legislation previously introduced by Sen. Lautenberg.
Would the Chemical Safety Improvement Act protect children and other vulnerable people?
Click here to see the overview Memorandum.
How does the Chemical Safety Improvement Act stack up against the Safe Chemicals Act?
Click here to read the side-by-side comparison.
EWG's section-by-section comparison concludes that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act:
- Uses a weaker safety standard;
- Opens the door to heightened judicial review;
- Lacks minimum data requirements;
- Includes broad preemption language that would undermine states' ability to set their own standards;
- Lacks fee and cost-sharing provisions;
- Fails to focus on vulnerable populations and biomonitoring data.
It came like a bolt out of the blue last week (May 21) when two influential senators announced they had come up with a bipartisan “compromise” proposal to update the outdated federal law that’s supposed to govern the use and safety of toxic chemicals. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.), lead sponsors of the new bill titled the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act,” called it the long-sought solution to fixing the notorious weaknesses of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, the only major U.S. environmental law that has never been brought up to date. Their proposal has garnered widespread praise from the chemical industry and lukewarm support from some members of the environmental community.Read More