Safer Chemicals: U.S. Senate passes the Toxic Substances Control Act Reform

The Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was passed by a unanimous voice vote

image of US-Senate
After rocky road, U.S. Senate passes landmark TSCA chemical law overhaul.

The US Senate has passed the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, by voice vote, to regulate the chemicals industry.

This move will pave way for overhauling the federal regulatory law for chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA).

The passage of the bill will set standards of safety, as well as strengthening government control in regulating all kinds of chemicals.

The bill, considered to be the first move towards drafting regulations for governing unsafe chemicals in around 40 years, seeks to provide a new set of protection for people, belonging to various quarters.

Sources and more information
  • After rocky road, U.S. Senate passes landmark chemical law overhaul, sciencemag, 17 December 2015.
  • US Senate passes chemical safety bill, chemicals-technology, 18 December 2015.

Will the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act undercut State Laws that protect Consumers?

A retreat on chemical safety?

A retreat on chemical safety
Only 200 of the 85,000 industrial chemicals in use, not including pesticides, have been tested or regulated

Six years ago, a California environmental group learned that certain baby bibs were made with potentially dangerous amounts of lead. A lawsuit followed, asserting that the bibs violated California’s sweeping environmental toxins law. As a result, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us pulled the bibs from their stores, not just in California but around the country. This is just one of many cases in which California’s strong environmental standards have protected health nationwide.

But such protections could be undermined by a bill in Congress that is intended to replace the ineffectual, decades-old federal law governing industrial chemicals. In its current state, the bill would do more to harm public health than to protect it. ”

Read A retreat on chemical safety
by The Times editorial board; 2 Aug 2013.