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Opposition To Industry Chemical Bill Continues to Build

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Medical professionals, scientists, states attorneys general, legal scholars and public interest organizations are all speaking up against the Udall-Vitter Toxic Substances Control Act reform bill (S. 697) backed by chemical companies. This industry bill, which is worse than the existing law, is so broken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t even been able to ban asbestos under its authority.

Opposition has continued to mount in the few weeks since EWG last noted strong voices speaking out against the bill and Sen. Boxer highlighted 450 organizations that oppose the industry bill at the March 18th Senate hearing on Udall-Vitter industry bill.

Two weeks ago, more than 40 medical professionals penned their discontent with the bill in a letter to the Senate underscoring:

  • The need for a “truly health-protective safety standard, one based on ‘reasonable certainty of no harm;’”
  • The bill’s murky deadlines and review process would only address “a tiny fraction of the thousands of chemicals to which the public is exposed;” and
  • The imperative for states’ roles to be preserved to protect public health.

Additionally, nearly 60 public interest organizations joined together on a letter voicing opposition to the Udall-Vitter bill citing:

  • Problems with its preemption of states abilities to protect people;
  • Failure to fully address legacy chemical contaminations;
  • Inclusion of a weak safety standard;
  • Lack of strict deadlines and adequate resources; and
  • The addition of hurdles to regulating chemicals in products.

A group of scientists also sent an open letter to the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee outlining principles to which Congress must adhere in order for a true chemical safety law reform to be scientifically sound. 

This outcry is coming on the heals of legal scholars and states attorneys general from VermontCaliforniaNew YorkMassachusettsIowa, Maine, Maryland, Oregon and Washington all writing to voice their concerns about the industry’s bill inability to protect public health and safety.

Photo by Linda Reinstein.


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