A decade of pressure by parents, doctors, scientists, businesses and state governments has created momentum to finally fix the broken federal law governing chemicals used in commerce, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, which has allowed thousands of hazardous and untested chemicals to be widely used in everyday consumer products.
Unfortunately, while TSCA reform is desperately needed to protect the lives of millions from harmful chemicals found in products or where we live, reform efforts in Congress appear to have been hijacked by the chemical industry. A new proposal by Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, and Sen. David Vitter, D-Louisiana, claims to be a step toward fixing TSCA. In reality, this bill could delay action on hazardous chemicals even further than the current law and give the chemical industry a free pass to continue endangering our children. Now, Delaware’s Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons face an important decision: Will they allow industry to write their own regulations, or will they stand up for our health and safety by pushing for real reform instead?
While this “reform” bill proposes some improvements to our federal chemical laws, it would at the same time create new barriers to action. The aims seeks to strip states of their right to restrict hazardous chemicals – even if federal government isn’t doing anything to regulate them. State leadership has been absolutely essential in creating real protections against toxic chemicals, so why would Congress seek to block states from protecting us?
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