The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., and in the House by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., after months of hearings with business leaders, public officials, scientists, doctors, academics, and nonprofit organizations on chemical safety. The legislation would update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which Lautenberg called an antiquated law that leaves Americans at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals.
The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 would require safety testing of all industrial chemicals and places the burden on industries to prove that chemicals are safe in order stay on the market. All uses of the chemical would have to be identified and determined safe for the chemical to enter the market or continue to be used. Under current policy, the Environmental Protection Agency can only call for safety testing after evidence surfaces demonstrating a chemical is dangerous. As a result, lawmakers said the EPA has been able to require testing for only 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States.
"America's system for regulating industrial chemicals is broken," Lautenberg said. "Chemical safety reform is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a common-sense issue and I look forward to building bipartisan support for this measure."
The bill is supported by the Obama administration, the American Chemistry Council, and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition.
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June 21, 2010
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