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While consumers typically believe that anything they can buy in the store has been government tested for safety, that's not always the case. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been in effect and essentially unchanged since 1976. The TSCA as it stands today allows chemicals to be used in consumer products without being proven safe, and it is seen by many as an outdated and ineffective regulatory scheme. In March 2015, draft bi-partisan chemical safety legislation aimed at amending the TSCA to better protect the public passed a Senate vote, and earlier this month, a slightly tweaked draft cleared its House subcommittee. The draft legislation is referred to as the Udall-Vitter bill.
If passed into law, the reforms to the TSCA would:
- Require safety reviews for all chemicals in commerce (including on those "grandfathered" under the current federal law) depending solely on risk to human health and the environment;
- Require the EPA to review and approve the approximately 1,000 new chemicals that enter the market each year before they are manufactured;
- Require the EPA to take into consideration the latest science to determine impacts on human health and the environment;
- Require chemical companies to contribute to the cost of regulation;
- Eliminate current "least burdensome" requirement for regulating a chemical;
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