#TSCA Chemical Reform Passes the House

Bittersweet victory: Last week, the House broke a four-decade legacy of inaction by voting to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act through H.R. 2576 the “TSCA Modernization Act.” The chemical reform bill was sponsored by Representatives Shimkus, Upton, Pallone and Tonko. Chemical reform means the EPA will be able to better regulate the 85,000 chemicals used in commerce–of which only five have been restricted up until this point. So that’s the good news.

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Why You Should Care About Chemical Safety

capitol building with white clouds behind itAutism, ADHD, asthma and allergies — increasingly, they’re all being linked to chemicals in our environment. Babies are now born pre-polluted with more than 200 industrial chemicals in their blood, just from pre-natal exposure. How can that not have an effect?

Yet the manufacturing industry’s position remains firm, lobbying that regulating chemicals will hurt small businesses, leading to increased production costs and job losses.

As a result, there are still 84,000 chemicals used in commerce that have never been tested for children’s safety. They are supposed to be regulated by the Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TSCA) but it doesn’t have a lot to do with chemical safety.

Guess how many chemicals have been restricted since TSCA was passed in 1976? Five. Yes, you read that right. Five. But luckily, there are changes afoot. [Read more…]