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Prevention + Health = Real Chemical Policy Reform
The U.S. desperately needs a modern chemical policy that reduces health hazards and risks. Our country lags far behind most developed nations because it allows use of hazardous and untested chemicals in consumer products and other materials.
It has been 37 years since Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which was intended to ensure the safety of industrial chemicals. Since TSCA’s passage, rates of serious diseases linked to chemical exposures – like childhood cancer, breast cancer, asthma, autism, infertility, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health conditions — have increased, not decreased as one might expect if the law were in fact health-protective.
If the U.S. is to improve health nationally, it must address environmental factors by preventing exposures to hazardous substances such as persistent, bio-accumulative, or toxic chemicals.
Unfortunately, the new 2015 TSCA reform proposal as introduced by Senator Vitter falls short, both in protecting health and moving us to safer chemicals and consumer products. It instead weighs industry’s interests over the public’s health.
Real Health Protective Chemical Policy Reform will:
- Require that chemicals be shown safe to remain in use, rather than require they be shown harmful to be removed from use.
- Establish clear protections for children, pregnant women, workers, and hotspot communities heavily affected by pollution and toxic chemicals.
- Preserve states' rights to regulate chemicals and to be more protective than federal standards.
- Empower the EPA to move quickly on the worst chemicals, including bans and phase outs if necessary.
- Utilize the best available science to assess chemical hazards.
- Allow public access to chemical hazard information and data as a means to support innovation in the development of products that are safer and greener.
- Incentivize industry to design hazards out of products in the first place.