Thursday, May 23, 2013

Big News: Bi-Partisan Legislation for Toxic Chemicals Reform in Congress

Yesterday Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) filed the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, historic bi-partisan legislation aimed at overhauling the notorious Toxic Substances Control Act, also known as TSCA.

Toxic Free NC is part of a coalition of public health, environment and business leaders who have been calling for TSCA reform for years. With more than 80,000 chemicals in commerce virtually untested for health and safety, TSCA has failed us. Our soaring rates of environmentally-related diseases are a testament to the inadequacy of current chemical laws.

While we are still just absorbing this news, we are excited and hopeful about this huge step forward. Bi-partisan compromise can mean painful compromise, and the Chemical Safety Improvement Act omits some of the important protections that Toxic Free NC and our allies believe are critical for public health. However, the bill would represent a sea change in our approach to evaluating and regulating toxic chemicals - one that this country deeply needs. It would also preserve the key role of the states in holding the federal government accountable for a toxic chemicals program that actually works.

Read more reactions from leaders in public health and environmental protection here.

There is no doubt that continued, passionate grassroots pressure on the part of parents and grandparents, health care providers, business owners and workers, deserve the credit for this huge leap forward. It is our responsibility to ensure that Congress passes legislation with the strongest possible protections for public health.

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