Toxic Substances Act overhaul proposed
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., chairman of the Subcommittee on Environmental Health, introduces legislation April 15 to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act. Lautenberg's Safe Chemicals Act, S. 3209, would require chemical manufacturers, if questioned, to produce data verifying a product's safety in order to keep it on the market. The legislation, which would likely effect a number of personal-care chemicals, including certain fragrances, also would require EPA to establish an interagency panel to select a priority list of 300 chemicals for regulatory review. Lautenberg called for reformation of TSCA at a Senate committee meeting in December (1"The Rose Sheet" Jan. 4, 2010). In a same-day release, the Environmental Working Group says TSCA is "riddled with so many loopholes that in more than 30 years, the [EPA] has been able to regulate only five of the 83,000 chemicals in use in consumer goods.
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While industry, NGOs, legislators and others agree that the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act should be reformed, stakeholders disagree on whether to use the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals as a guide.
Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., introduce the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 to "strengthen and update" the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. H.R. 5820 would place burden on industry to verify a chemical's safety before it can be used. Additionally, legislation would "shine the bright light of public disclosure" on chemicals in consumer products, Rush says in release. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., introduced similar legislation - called the "Safe Chemicals Act" - in the Senate in April (1"The Rose Sheet" April 19, 2010, In Brief)
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