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 September 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the signing of two bills that, he said, would propel “California to the forefront of the nation and the world with the most comprehensive Green Chemistry program ever established.” He promised that once the legislation went into effect, toxic chemicals would no longer become “inevitable byproduct of industrial production,” lowering the risk of exposure to synthetic chemicals for California’s people and the environment.Read More
Bisphenol-A (BPA) will be banned from baby bottles come June of 2011, announced the European Union’s executive commission on Thursday.Read More
For several years now, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been warning of the risks associated with bisphenol A (BPA) – especially the BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and cans of infant formula. EWG has also been a leader in trying to get state and federal agencies to regulate this hazardous chemical.Read More
Thanks to the tireless work and dogged determination of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her tremendous staff, there was a deal this week -- after months of negotiations -- to include some regulation of BPA in a food safety bill that will probably pass the Senate soon after Thanksgiving.Read More
Six dedicated public servants will be honored tonight in San Francisco for their shared commitment to protecting the health and environment of Californians.Read More
EWG comments on FDA’s 5-year plan urge the agency to give priority to cosmetics safety, particularly nanotechnology in cosmetics, surveillance of adverse reactions and consumer education of questionable cosmetics claims.Read More
EWG writes FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg that a pivotal new study intensifies concerns about the danger of bisphenol A, plastics chemical and synthetic estrogen, to public health.Read More
EWG applauds EPA’s proposal to strengthen regulations on chemical production and use data under the Toxic Substances Control Act.Read More
More than 50 organizations concerned about the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment have joined forces to fight California officials' award of a $180,000 taxpayer-funded grant to a chemical agribusiness public relations campaign.Read More
EWG opposes an EPA pesticide office plan for conditional registration of a nanoscale silver chemical known as HeiQ AGS-20 and used as an antimicrobial, pesticide and textile preservative. EWG asks the agency not to approve this chemical’s use in consumer products until its maker produces all the data EPA typically requires for regulation of antimicrobials and until an EPA evaluation of these data determines that the product is safe for people and the environment.Read More
EWG comments to EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment question a case study’s failure to clearly present conclusions about the possible effects on people and the environment of nanoscale silver. EWG calls on the agency to conduct thorough health and safety evaluations of novel nanoscale materials prior to market entry.Read More
Oakland, Ca – In a victory for the chemical industry and a great loss for the health of California’s children, the California State Legislature on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have eliminated the plastics chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen, from baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula cans sold in California.Read More
Washington, D.C. –Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook testified today that reform legislation now before Congress “is essential to fixing our broken toxic chemicals policy.”Read More
EWG President Ken Cook testifies to the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the major shortcomings in the Toxic Substances Control Act.Read More
EWG found BPA on two-fifths of the 36 thermal paper receipts tested. Samples were gathered from major retail outlets including McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway and the U.S. Postal Service.Read More
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional leaders today introduced in the House the first comprehensive overhaul in more than 30 years of a federal law that has been widely condemned for failing to protect Americans against the risks of toxic chemicals.Read More
Ever wonder if you can really, truly make a difference in an effort for national policy reform? I mean, it's a big country, right? Do policy makers really care that you fervently believe that chemicals should be kid-safe, not hazardous to their health? YES. YES. YES.Read More
EWG research found that the amount of dioxin a nursing infant ingests daily is up to 77 times higher than the level EPA has proposed to protect the endocrine and immune systems. The fact that both breast milk and formula are contaminated with dioxin highlights the urgent need for EPA to finish its assessment.Read More
Oakland, Calif. – The chemical industry’s agreement with the federal Food and Drug Administration to phase out toxic perfluorinated compounds used to grease-proof pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, fast food wrapping and other food packaging does not go far enough to protect public health.Read More