Leading companies are highly motivated to identify and use safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. Polling by ASBC confirms that today's business leaders are concerned about the health and business impacts that could arise if the products they use or sell contain toxic chemicals, as well as the toxic chemical exposures that may occur as a result of their supply chains. Take action today and join the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition calling for meaningful TSCA reform.
The coalition endorses reform that reflects three broad principles:
- True Transparency: We believe that the public and businesses should have access to information regarding the safety of the chemicals in the products they use.
- True Safety: Federal law should set a minimum acceptable safety requirement, and encourage States to create innovative laws and regulations that further protect human health and the environment.
- True Innovation: Chemical management should foster solutions that lead to safer and sustainable products and technologies not codify the status quo.
What's at Stake:
By themselves downstream users of chemicals can only make but a small dent in a huge problem. Due to a lack of data, businesses are often unable to identify the chemicals in their products, what hazards they may pose and whether safer alternatives are on the market. The result is a serious market barrier to the development and use of safer chemicals and products. The main federal law that is supposed to ensure the safety of chemicals has not changed in 34 years. The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—intended to give the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to identify and regulate dangerous chemicals—simply does not work. The EPA’s power to regulate chemicals under TSCA is much more limited than it was intended to be. 62,000 of 80,000 chemicals currently being produced never faced testing under TSCA because they were already on the market in 1976. The EPA has managed to mandate testing on only 200 chemicals because it lacks power to set safety standards and gain sufficient information from manufacturers.
In December, ASBC launched the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition with a number of leading brands and businesses committed to creating and selling cleaner and safer products. The Coalition now represents more than 100 companies who will be advocating for meaningful chemical reform.
The Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) was introduced in the House of Representatives in February of 2014. The Committee on Energy & Commerce held two hearings in March of 2014, one in which ASBC business member Naturepedic testified.
In May of 2013, the late Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, an attempt to overhaul TSCA and improve chemical regulation. The bill would not address the most important issues we face on toxic chemicals. Upon closer review, the CSIA does not streamline the chemical review process and raises a number of other serious concerns. The Senate Environment and Public Works committee held a comprehensive hearing on TSCA reform July 31, 2013. The hearing illuminated a number of issues that need to be resolved in the CSIA for it to be effective.