Might the U.S. see laws on chemicals being strengthened to European standards? Stephanie Hemphill of Minnesota Public Radio reports:

The law that governs chemicals in the U.S. is the Toxic Substances Control Act, written more than 15 years ago. It “grandfathered in” all the chemicals that were in commercial use in 1979. There’s no law requiring companies to provide data on those chemicals.

That leaves a big gap in our knowledge, according to Michael Wilson. He’s a researcher at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of California Berkeley.

“About 95 or 96 percent of the chemicals in commercial circulation today, by volume, were those that were in circulation in 1979,” he says. “And so we have very little information on that big body of chemicals.”

Wilson recently wrote a report to the California legislature, urging the state to nudge businesses toward “green chemistry.” He says many firms would choose greener products if they had the information.

We’ll be watching this story incredibly closely. Any change to the TSCA would impact many small businesses and practically every medium- and large-sized manufacturing enterprise.

See the full article: MPR.