Processing Magazine

Bill Introduced Could Overhaul US Chemicals Policy

July 27, 2010 reports, democratic congressmen Bobby Rush, Ill., and Henry Waxman, Calif., introduced a groundbreaking bill to overhaul U.S. chemicals policy in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 is intended to overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which has failed to regulate chemicals in consumer products—even those that have known links to cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, reproductive disorders, and other serious health problems. The House legislation would significantly strengthen public health protections from toxic chemicals. For the first time, the chemical industry would be required to demonstrate that chemicals are safe, rather than the EPA having to prove they are unsafe. In a major shift the legislation would require chemical manufacturers to provide basic health and safety information for all chemicals as a condition for them remaining on or entering the market and to make that information public. For the past three months Congressmen Rush and Waxman have been meeting with key stakeholders including industry representatives, health and environmental advocates and the EPA to come up with a balanced bill.