Toxic Chemicals reform bill passed by Senate Committee

On July 25, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed the Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847) sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). This was the first official action by a Congressional Committee to address the problem of chemical exposures in 36 years since the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has limited authority to fully protect the public from toxic chemicals, many of which are linked to developmental problems, neurological deficits, cancer, and impaired fertility. The previous day, on July 24, the full Committee and the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health held a joint hearing entitled, “Oversight of EPA Authorities and Actions to Control Exposures to Toxic Chemicals.” Visit the EPW website to view the webcast. The Arc supports the Safe Chemicals Act. Learn more at Safer Chemicals, Healthier Communities, a diverse coalition of organizations of which The Arc is a member.

Senate holds hearing on the Safe Chemicals Act

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee held a hearing on S. 847, sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). This bill would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 by requiring chemical companies to demonstrate the safety of industrial chemicals and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate safety based on the best available science. Currently, TSCA greatly limits the EPA’s ability to require safety testing or regulate a chemical. As a result, EPA has been able to require testing for only about 200 chemicals out of more than 80,000 in its inventory. The Arc supports the Safe Chemical Act which would help to reduce exposures to chemicals that are increasingly being linked to cancer, birth defects, learning and behavioral problems, infertility, asthma, and nervous system disorders. Visit the Environment and Public Works committee website for written statements and an archived webcast of the hearing. Learn more at Safer Chemicals, Healthier Communities, a diverse coalition of organizations of which The Arc is a member.