New Chemical Reform Bill Would Weaken Protection From Harmful Chemicals

The proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act not only fails to fix America's famously broken toxic chemicals law, but in many ways it will weaken protection against harmful chemicals.
June 18, 2013
http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/reform-bill-harmful-chemicals-zwfz1306zkin.aspx
The Chemical Safety Improvement Act would not strictly regulate chemicals that remain in the environment or in our bodies for decades. Nor does it protect communities located near chemical plants.


Photo by Fotolia/Giuseppe Blasioli

A press release from the Environmental Working Group.

A new chemical "reform" bill has been introduced in the Senate.

The problem is, the new bill not only fails to fix America's famously broken toxic chemicals law, in many ways it will weaken protection against chemicals that could harm you and your family.

Your senators and representative need to know that you want real reform now and the industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvement Act is unacceptable.

Click here to take action right now. Tell your elected officials that you want laws that protect us from harmful chemicals, not laws that protect the chemical industry from reasonable, effective regulation.

Toxic chemicals are everywhere. Not long ago, the Environmental Working Group's research detected 287 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Of those, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

Here are only a few ways this bill fails to protect you and your family from these chemicals:

  • The bill does not require the Environmental Protection Agency or chemical companies to prove that chemicals are safe. It barely addresses the needs of children, pregnant women and workers and does not take into account that people are exposed to multiple chemicals through many different pathways.

 

  • It would not strictly regulate chemicals that remain in the environment or in our bodies for decades. Nor does it protect communities located near chemical plants.

 

  • New chemicals could be manufactured and sold before the EPA fully evaluated their safety. Worse, if those chemicals were subsequently found to be dangerous, the EPA would confront multiple obstacles in banning or restricting them.

 

  • States have stepped in to regulate some of the most dangerous chemicals in recent years because the federal government could not, or would not, act. BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups is a good example. This bill would "pre-empt" state action, blocking the ability of states to protect their people when the federal government fails to do so.

 

  • Chemical companies would not be required to produce basic safety data for new chemicals or chemicals that are already on the market.

 

  • When submitting health and safety testing data, companies would be allowed to keep secret the names and other identifying features of their chemicals.

EWG is opposing industry's Chemical Safety Improvement Act. It is not an improvement over current law and in many ways is worse. We think it is time for real reform — and we need your help. Make sure your senators and member of Congress know that this bill is unacceptable.

Click here to take action today. We need real toxics reform in Congress. This industry-backed bill is unacceptable.