To the applause of the chemical industry lobby, Congress is sending a new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) bill to President Obama. Anyone familiar with this law knows that it is the weakest of all U.S. environmental statutes, leaving the majority of the 85,000 chemicals in our toys, clothes, homes, schools, and workplaces unregulated and untested for their health effects.
And if Congress and the chemical lobby have their way, none of that will change.
Because TSCA hasn’t empowered the EPA to act for the last 40 years, 38 states began regulating dangerous chemicals, including BPA, formaldehyde, lead, mercury and toxic flame retardants. In many cases, these state rules have benefited people across the country, especially when national firms removed dangerous chemicals from their products.
But instead of nationalizing that trend, Congress is ignoring environmental, public health, worker safety, and environmental justice leaders who have championed chemical policy reform for decades. Instead, they chose to listen to the chemical lobbyists from Dow, DuPont, Exxon and their trade associations, like the American Chemistry Council (ACC).