This new article, The Flaws in the Emerging Toxics Reform Legislation and How They Can Be Fixed, is brought to you by Huffpost Politics.com.
Congress is about to take action on reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), addressing the slow progress since its passage in 1976 in advancing protection from exposure to toxic substances, as well as a significant set-back rendered by a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 1991.
TSCA was heralded as a much-needed protection for greater worker, consumer, and public health protection. It provided the authority for both regulation and testing of chemicals, but it hasn’t lived up to its hope and promise, even compared to its parallel effort — the REACH Directive — which was begun three decades later in the European Union.
TSCA has two fundamental flaws: First, its regulatory approach is built on an outdated two-step process of “risk assessment” followed by “risk management.” Second, the risk assessment done relies almost exclusively on either animal testing or human epidemiological evidence. Evidence based on chemical structure alone is not sufficient.
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