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Welcome to PSR's Environmental Health Policy Institute, where we ask questions -- then we ask the experts to answer them. Join us as physicians, health professionals, and environmental health experts share their ideas, inspiration, and analysis about toxic chemicals and environmental health policy.

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Economic Growth in Tandem with Health and Environmental Protections

By David Levine

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) applauds the bipartisan leadership of Senator Vitter and the late Senator Lautenberg for addressing the need to fix our broken system of protection from toxic chemicals.  We are especially encouraged that this effort acknowledges our core belief that economic growth and protections for health and the environment are not at odds. We can and must provide safe, environmentally benign alternatives to hazardous chemicals and do so at a lower cost. This is what consumers want, and what is driving change in the industry.

While this version of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act is a step forward, work still needs to be done on the bill to strengthen the incentives for investment in green chemistry. ASBC is concerned that a component that specifically supported Green Chemistry and Engineering research and development, included in an earlier version of the bill, has been omitted in this version. Incentives are crucial to spur the innovation necessary to create safer chemicals, which in turn will grow business and create jobs. 

ASBC’s independent polling shows that small business owners across the board support reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The poll of small business owners – 47% Republican, 27% Democratic and 23% independent – found that 92% support regulations to protect air and water from toxic chemicals and nearly three out of four support requirements for chemical manufacturers to show that their chemicals are safe and disclose toxic chemicals.

We look forward to working with Senators Lautenberg and Vitter to maximize the opportunity through this legislation to invest in cleaner, safer and innovative technologies and grow our economy as we protect the communities and employees of our businesses.

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