Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

Kid-safe chemicals are now within our reach

Let’s get it done.

Kid Safe Chemicals
Americans have hundreds of pollutants in their bodies. Even newborn babies routinely test positive for nearly 300 chemicals.

Our non-partisan campaign for Kid-Safe chemicals has captured the attention of the Congress and White House.

On April 15, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Environmental Health, introduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, declaring, “America’s system for regulating industrial chemicals is broken.”

The same day, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman and Commerce, and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), chairman of the Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, released a “discussion draft” of a similar measure called the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act.

Why We Need Kid-Safe Chemicals

These bills answer calls from the Obama administration, environmental health groups like EWG and the chemical industry for a responsible, comprehensive national policy on toxic chemical safety that protects children and other vulnerable people.

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 grandfathered some 62,000 chemicals on the market in 1976, despite the lack of safety data to support this policy. Another 20,000 chemicals have come onto the market since, also with little or no information about their possible consequences for human health. EWG biomonitoring tests have detected up to 493 industrial chemicals, pesticides and pollutants in nearly 200 people.

Many of these chemicals are untested: scientists do not understand their implications for human health, alone or in combination with other pollutants people encounter in their daily lives. A few, like bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous plastic component and synthetic estrogen, have recently come under intense scientific scrutiny – and the news isn’t good. Researchers have amassed ample evidence linking BPA to serious disorders. Yet the chemical has been detected in 93 percent of Americans tested, due to widespread use of BPA in food cans and plastic bottles.

We are at a tipping point, where the pollution in people is increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions, including childhood and adult cancer, behavioral problems, infertility and birth defects. Meanwhile, the government has almost no authority to protect people from even the most hazardous chemicals on the market.

The Campaign: Pass Legislation for Kid-Safe Chemicals

The Kid-Safe Chemicals Campaign has built a broad national consensus for change. People expect the government to protect them from unseen dangers in food, water, air and everyday products. The bills now poised for Congressional action rest on common principles nearly everyone can support:

  • Industrial chemicals must be safe for infants, kids and other vulnerable groups;
  • New chemicals must be safety-tested before they are sold;
  • Chemical manufacturers must demonstrate that the 62,000 chemicals grandfathered in 1976 are safe in order to keep selling them;
  • EPA must conduct regular updates of health and safety data;
  • EPA will have clear authority to request additional information and tests;
  • Information about chemicals is made public.

Support from Congress

Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey:
“America’s system for regulating industrial chemicals is broken. Parents are afraid because hundreds of untested chemicals are found in their children’s bodies. EPA does not have the tools to act on dangerous chemicals, and the chemical industry has asked for stronger laws so that their customers are assured their products are safe.

Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection:
“The House has begun the legislative process to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. There is well-documented evidence that, in recent years, the federal government has abandoned its duty to oversee TSCA’s enforcement.

My intention, in this session of Congress, is to reverse this neglect and strengthen this important law in a way that puts the needs of consumers and the environment first. I welcome the support of the Environmental Working Group and other groups and individuals of good will as we engage in this important undertaking.”

We can give our children a safer and healthier future.Learn how to take action now!