Strengthen The Chemical Safety Improvement Act
We work passionately every day to eliminate harmful toxins from everyday household products. One of the top priorities in The Campaign For a Toxin-Free Generation is to change the way chemicals are regulated in the United States.
For 25 years we've created healthy products for healthy homes by using plant-derived, bio-based ingredients. We speak loudest through our products: We won't use chemicals of concern and we disclose all ingredients right on our packaging.
But not all products are held to the same standards, and we think this should change. To protect our families, children and pets, we are calling on Washington to improve the standards for chemical regulation for all household products.
We're working towards this goal with an eye to a future where everyone is protected and living in a toxin free environment.
Current Law is Outdated
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976 and, unlike other major environmental laws, has never been updated. Some people might assume that the chemicals used to make products sold in the U.S., like toys and food containers, are regulated and tested for safety — but they are not.
- Over 80,000 chemicals are currently available for use in the market. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals when enacted in 1976 and over 20,000 have since been added. The EPA has required very few of these to be tested for their impacts on human health and the environment.
- TSCA makes it difficult for consumers and businesses to find the information they need to identify which chemicals are safe and unsafe.
Read more about this outdated legislation from our coalition partner, Safer Chemicals Healthy Family Coalition.
The Time for Change is Now
On May 22, 2013, Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Vitter (R-LA) introduced S.1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (CSIA). CSIA is a bi-partisan bill that has opened an important dialogue about the need to reform to the 37-year-old TSCA. While CSIA does provide some necessary reforms, overall the bill does not adequately protect the public health and requires significant modification.
CSIA is a historic opportunity to reduce unsafe chemicals in our environment. It's not clear what the final form of the legislation will include (it's currently in negotiations in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee) or if it will even become law, but we believe that chemical reform legislation is crucial. To fully protect our communities, the bill must be strengthened, and in the coming months, as Congress continues to consider CSIA, we want to encourage our lawmakers to include these principles:
- Science, not industry influence, should drive chemical reform.
- Chemical reform should protect the most vulnerable among us, including pregnant women, children, workers and communities who are disproportionately exposed to chemicals.
- Chemical reform should require public access to information regarding the safety of chemicals.
- Chemical reform must respect the rights of states to protect their residents when the federal government fails to do so.
- Chemical regulation must be updated to allow the EPA to take fast action on the most harmful chemicals and include specific timetables for such regulatory actions.
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