Reform Chemical Policy
It took more than 10 years of a coordinated national effort in which the Strategy Center played a key role to achieve reform in 2016 of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed in 1976. It is the nation’s main law regulating chemicals.
Signed into law on June 2, 2016 by President Barack Obama, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act obligates the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate and restrict a number of dangerous chemicals used in consumer products.
Finally, the EPA can reduce exposure to toxic chemicals for millions of Americans.
We will vigilantly guard against the Trump Administration's retreat from this progress. We’ve got to hold the line, to protect pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable groups. Weakened leadership at EPA may result in false assurances of safety and in chemicals shielded from testing.
Some history on TSCA:
The chemical safety system in the United States was badly broken. When the federal Toxic Substances Control Act was passed 40 years ago, the 62,000 industrial chemicals then in commerce were “grandfathered in,” with no safety testing required and no restrictions on use. A growing body of scientific evidence now links widespread exposure to many of these chemicals to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, cancer, and other preventable diseases.
For more than a decade, the Environmental Health Strategy Center has been at the forefront of legislative efforts to achieve meaningful TSCA reform. We co-founded the SAFER States coalition in 2005 and passed the most comprehensive state-based chemical policy, Maine’s Kid Safe Products Act, in 2008. The next year, we co-launched Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, the national coalition campaigning for chemical reform.
We’ve supported legislation in every Congress to empower the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to phase out dangerous chemicals, protect the health of our most vulnerable, and preserve state authority to require safer substitutes. In 2014, our testimony before Congress helped defeat phony reform backed by the chemical industry. Join us today to help finish the job and create a healthy future for our children and theirs.