Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

A Historic Conference: The Future of U.S. Chemicals Policy

More than 150 representatives of industry, government, academia and the environmental community voiced a broad consensus this week that the time has come for comprehensive reform of the outdated federal law created to ensure that Americans’ health is not threatened by the thousands of chemicals they encounter in daily life. Click here to read the rest of EWG’s wrap-up.

Highlights from The Future of U.S. Chemicals Policy

Conference Multimedia Resources
Click here to watch The Future of U.S. Chemicals Policy in full.
Click to watch all of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s speech.
Click here to see a slide show of this historic conference.

Read reactions from EWG staff
Key stakeholders share ideas about TSCA reform
The morning session of today’s historic conference exploring routes to federal chemical policy reform made clear that there is now a strong consensus among key stakeholders – industry, the EPA and the White House, the environmental health community – on the need to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Thanks to today’s event, we now have the pleasure of discussing them.Click here to read the rest of the morning wrap-up.

You can help us keep reform moving forward!
Help us keep the pressure on Congress to reform TSCA. Sign our Declaration today to tell your Represenatives that you think children being born prepolluted is morally wrong. Click here to add your voice today.


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12 Responses to “A Historic Conference: The Future of U.S. Chemicals Policy”

  1. Jim H. White says:

    While I was still a civil servant (in Canada, not the USA) as chair of a session I got severely repremanded for saying “I love polite discussions whith those who do not agree with me. I have never learned anything from those who agree with me except, perhaps, that they can word things better than I can. I learn a lot, however, from those who do not agree with me, including where I have to improve my case for what I believe that I know.”

    That was seen to be impolite to others; God alone knows why. I stand by it and still think that it did help foster a great discussion.

    Ken, your approach will likely result in great progress; treat them with love and respect and be amazed at how things change!

  2. Kirsten says:

    It is absolutely time for the chemicals that are bio-accumulative to go. I know that the reason that breast feeding helped lower my risk of breast cancer is that the chemicals which has built up in the fat cells of my body were flushed out in the milk. And where did they go……..
    It is still the healthiest thing for a baby, but what a painful knowledge.
    What we have now is the opposite of a free market, I do not have the choice of buying a reasonably priced sofa that does not contain halogenated fire retardants- how is that fair? I just cannot get one.
    I support the effort of the EWG to make sure that we have a chemical policy that helps ensure safe choices.

  3. Susan Rose says:

    Good job, Ken! Keep up the good work! Susan

  4. It’s going the right direction but, are some chemicals just going to be ‘altered’ to reach the ‘acceptable’ level? There are many Chemicals that we ought to be discarding and promoting – as much as possible – the use of Mother Nature inside the Chemicle umbrella and see how naure has a wonderful method of clearing debrit from our path – with NO side effects! Can Chemicals ever state ‘No Side Effects’? A big clean up is needed!

  5. We here in Canada want changes to stop the “chemical explosion” in our food, water, air and body/skin products as well! Millions are spent on cures for such diseases as cancer; but where oh where is the effort for PREVENTION in the first place! Google the word AZODICARBONABMIDE, for example, and see what the World Health Organization says about it! “Banned for use in food in the U.K. and Australia, it is mainly used in the blowing of rubber and plastics.” Here in North America, flour companies put it in almost all Whole Wheat Flour (the only product available that does not use it, where I live in Newfoundland Labrador, Canada, is President’s Choice Organic Whole Wheat Flour at Dominion Stores – called Loblaw’s in most of Canada); also Subway uses it in its’ buns and rolls; Costco in Canada (Sam’s Club in the U.S.) uses it in its’ products as well. Also many bread-making companies use it in their products – I have read the labels in grocery stores both in the U.S. and Canada. Azodicarbonamide turns into Ethyl Carbamate which is a known carcinogen. “March 2007, The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-classifies ethyl carbamate as a Group 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic to humans) from Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic). Other Group 2A carcinogens include acylamide, PCBs, diesel engine exhaust, arsenic, mercury and mustard Gas.” I wonder how many US and Canadian citizens think they are buying not only safe but so-called healthy products when they purchase Whole Wheat Flour and products made from it.
    Sylvia Hopkins
    Concerned Canadian

  6. Wow. EWG, a big thank you for bringing the right people together to address this long overlooked topic. This news gives me hope that our toxic burden on this continient will lighten. You fight the big fight in the right way. Thank you for all you do. I know you are spending my donations to do the work that I cannot. Keep up the good work, and know that as long as you keep going, you have my support. One last thank-you to Lisa Jackson of the EPA. Finally someone without their head under the stain-repellent rug.

  7. Brenda Gilman says:

    As a lifetime consumer of soft drinks, mother of two, and leukemia survivor (recently completing a 2-year maintenance chemo regimen), I am writing for information about the testing for benzene in soft drinks. What, if anything, is being done about this very serious health hazard?

    Two years ago, I was diagnosed with two types of leukemia, APL and CLL, the latter being incurable. Since being diagnosed, I have taken many steps to educate myself about the possible causes of leukemia. During my quest, I have discovered that benzene is a direct cause of leukemia. Upon further investigation, I have discovered that the leukemia ravaging my body was a direct result of daily consumption of a canned lemon tea beverage. This product was stored on my porch, which gets a lot of sun and gets very hot, as well as in my car, where I would remove it and place it in refrigerators at work. However, once the chemicals used in the beverage were exposed to heat, the ascorbic acid and the sodium benzoate would combine and form benzene. As I was the only one in my family to consume this canned lemon tea, I was the only one that got sick, thankfully.

    At the very least, don’t you think it would benefit consumers worldwide to place a black box warning label on all products containing sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid? Think of the children that would be saved! Not to mention the amount of money that could be spared our federal and state governments from people like me who are on disability and medicaid as a result of illness and inability to work.
    Brenda Gilman
    Concerned parent

  8. Mary Ellen Marucci says:

    Hi Ken,

    Of course those regulated and their regulators are willing to play ball. If they were not regulated, just think of all those lawsuits against the manufacturers of these toxic and carcinogenic products, byproducts, and waste products.

  9. Bozena says:

    Ken,our Planet needs people like you and many significant others from The Environmental Group.

    I admire you astonishing work,your resources, your involvement, your love for the nature and the humanity!

    I would be very proud to promote your site from my website

  10. Bozena says:

    Thank you

    Bozena Slominski

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    • Elaine Shannon says:

      Kendi, we’re glad you’re contributing to the discussion. Our aim is not to win agreement on every detail of a new national policy on toxics chemicals but to help build a broad consensus for change. Everyone — the environmental community, the health and medical professions and the chemical industry itself — agrees that the current structure, such as it is, doesn’t work for our society or our economy. Please keep reading and writing us and sharing what interests you with your friends and contacts.

      Elaine Shannon
      Editor-in-chief
      Environmental Working Group