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 nearly 85,000 chemicals currently approved for use 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.
In the absence of adequate federal regulation of hazardous chemicals, the states have stepped up to protect public health and the environment.
Consumers rightly expect that the chemicals used in everyday products are safe.Read More
A draft legislative proposal to fix the failed federal chemicals law put forth by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is a slight improvement over the Udall-Vitter plan introduced in the Senate but still “falls far short of what is needed” to ensure chemicals are safe, EWG said.
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.Read More
States have been leading the way when it comes to protecting people from dangerous chemicals.
In 1989, the federal Environmental Protection Agency tried to ban asbestos.
My four-year-old son Jack likes to play on the floor.
We the undersigned organizations strongly urge the Environmental Protection Agency to weigh heavily the decision last week by the World Health Organization to categorize glyphosate (trade name “Roundup®”) as “probably carcinogenic to humans”Read More
If a product you were thinking of buying contained asbestos, chances are you’d want to know while you were in the store, say, by reading a warning on the item’s label.
Do you know that your couch may be toxic to you and your kids? A weak federal chemical safety law and poorly designed state fire safety standards fail to protect Americans from thousands of dangerous chemicals like flame retardants.
It was abundantly clear at the recent Senate hearing that Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee have grave doubts about legislation the chemical industry has written to regulate itself (S.697).
Testimony of Kenneth Cook on S. 697 before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public WorksRead More
Testimony of Kenneth Cook
Environmental Working GroupRead More
Many Americans probably believe asbestos was banned years ago, consigned to the trash bin of history, never to be seen again. Not so. This notorious human carcinogen is still legal for use in the U.S.
A growing chorus is speaking out against legislation to update federal chemical safety law that was introduced last week by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter, R-La. The industry-backed bill would retain the existing weak safety standard for toxic chemicals and limit the ability of states to enact and enforce their own rules to protect public health.
WASHINGTON – A group of top legal scholars, law professors and public interest lawyers with years of collective experience in public health law, including state and federal toxics policy, today took issue with the industry-backed legislation filed last week by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M, and David Vitter, R-La., to update the federal chemicals safety law.
States are leading the way when it comes to protecting people from dangerous chemicals.Read More
Legislation introduced today by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., to fix the nation’s badly broken and outdated chemical safety law would be a major step in ensuring that Americans, especially children, are protected from toxic substances, Environmental Working Group said.
The two chemical safety “reform” bills introduced this week provide a clear choice for members of Congress.