New TSCA bill introduced

As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce introduced a bill last week which could overhaul the 1976 Toxic Chemicals Safety Act (TSCA).

U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010.

Waxman said the TSCA reform is long-overdue. The bill intends all chemicals will be reviewed for safety; dangerous chemicals will be restricted or eliminated; and new, safer chemicals will be developed using the green chemistry principles.

The American Chemistry Council noted in a statement that the bill needs more work.

Here are the summary of the bill. If you’re bored and don’t have anything to read, here’s the long version. ;-)

  • Establishes a framework to ensure that all chemical substances to which the American people are exposed will be reviewed for safety and restricted where necessary to protect public health and the environment.
  • Requires the chemical industry to develop and provide to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) essential data, and improves EPA’s authority to compel testing where necessary.
  • Ensures that non-confidential information submitted to EPA is shared with the public and that critical confidential information is shared among regulators, with states, and with workers in the chemical industry.
  • Establishes an expedited process for EPA to reduce exposure to chemical substances that are known to be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.
  • Creates incentives and a review process for safer alternatives to existing chemicals, promoting innovation and investment in green chemistry.
  • Creates a workforce education and training program in green chemistry, promoting and ensuring long-term viability of American jobs.
  • Encourages the reduction of the use of animals in chemical testing.
  • Allows EPA to exempt chemicals already known to be safe from requirements of the Act.
  • Promotes research to advance understanding of children’s vulnerability to the harms of chemicals.
  • Directs EPA to address community exposures to toxic chemicals in certain “hot spot” locations.
  • Requires EPA to engage in international efforts to control dangerous chemicals.
  • Ensures that EPA actions are transparent, open to public comment, and subject to judicial review, without unreasonable procedural burdens.
  • Gives EPA the resources needed to carry out this Act.

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One Response to New TSCA bill introduced

  1. Rihana 27 July, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    The potential for TSCA reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill needs to mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods and tests.

    I agree that we should use the latest science to assess chemicals. Instead of poisoning animals and attempting to apply that data to humans — which hasn’t worked out so far — we need to make sure a reformed TSCA relies on modern human cell and computer-based methods that provide more accurate data on how a chemical acts on cells and what the impact on human health may be.

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