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Lautenberg Advances Bill to Protect Kids from Toxic Chemicals

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, April 14, 2011

 

Washington, D.C. – In 2005, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) was the first lawmaker ever to offer a road map for fixing the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which has allowed tens of thousands of toxic substances onto the marketplace with little or no testing.

Today, Lautenberg continues pressing to revamp the law by introducing the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. It would require chemical companies to prove their products are safe for human health and the environment before allowed in commerce.

“We're pleased that Senator Lautenberg is introducing the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011,” said Jason Rano, Senior Legislative Analyst for Environmental Working Group. “Nobody has provided more leadership in the effort to protect children from exposure to dangerous toxic chemicals.”

Environmental Working Group has documented through two landmark reports that chemical contamination in people begins in the womb, largely due to the failure of federal law.

“The path chemicals travel from inception to people’s bodies is short and smooth,” said Rano. “The Lautenberg plan forces chemical companies to prove each of their products is safe before becoming ingredients in the products we buy. At its core, this legislation is about protecting the public health of all Americans, especially children.”

Lautenberg’s legislation would establish a protective standard by which chemicals’ safety would be determined. It would go a long way to eliminating spurious claims of confidential business information. The Environmental Protection Agency would set priorities among more than 84,000 chemicals in the agency’s inventory. Companies would be required to submit all health and safety data to EPA and could, no longer keep this vital information secret.

“Senator Lautenberg is the father of modern day chemicals policy reform,” Rano said. “We look forward to working with him to build support for this rigorous, common-sense approach.”

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