US bill to give regulator power to ban chemicals

13 July 2011 22:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two US lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would give the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) the power to ban certain chemicals deemed harmful to public health.

Senator John Kerry (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Congressman Jim Moran (Democrat-Virginia) co-authored the bill, called The Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act.

“It’s scary for any parent to think that products they use at home every day might be unknowingly making their kids sick,” Kerry said.

“We have a responsibility not just to inform Americans of the dangers, but to protect them from chemicals with the potential to cause serious illnesses from birth defects to cancer. It’s just common sense," he said.

The bill would establish an expert panel through the NIEHS that will study up to 10 chemicals per year. Any chemical deemed a high level of concern would then be banned from use, unless exposure to people was lessened significantly.

Federal agencies with regulatory authority over banned chemicals will then have to establish regulations or take other actions to ban the chemicals.

Additionally, the bill calls for the expert panel to provide an updated, public list of potential and actual endocrine-disrupting chemicals every two years.

“When one in every six children has been diagnosed with some type of developmental disability, serious questions arise about whether something is wrong with our environment,” Moran said.

“We owe it to future generations to solve this puzzle. The bill introduced today will expedite research on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and allow that science, not politics, to guide policies," he said.


By: Bobbie Clark
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