A key Senate this week passed the Safe Chemicals Act, which advocates call a long-overdue reform of the nation's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which has failed to require toxicity testing for tens of thousands of chemicals now used in American commerce.
The act has been circulating for years, but this is the first time it has been passsed out of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. It would require manufacturers to prove a chemical's safety before it is used in commerce; now, chemicals' health effects aren't routinely tested unless exposure causes concern after their widespread use.
Recent polling has indicated there is strong public support for the measure.
Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement last year that said, in part: "The current system fails to protect children and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposures." Other groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association have all independently recommended changes to existing chemical regulations on similar grounds.
For more information on the polls, see Daniel Rosenberg’s blog post here: New Polls Show Public Support for Chemical Reform as Flame Retardant Scandal Prods Senate to Act. Environmentalists and industry leaders will join Debbie Raphael, Director of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), to unveil a groundbreaking, proposed regulation aimed at protecting consumers. The proposal will expand protections against toxic ingredients in everyday products, while promoting innovation in California’s product development industry. On July 26, DTSC will hold a media event in an Oakland manufacturing facility that has found growing demand for its non-toxic products, to discuss the proposed Safer Consumer Products regulation. The event will kick off a 45-day public comment period on the proposal. DTSC’s goal is to have a final regulation in place in late 2012. For more information visit: www.dtsc.ca.gov. Date/Time: July 26, 2012, 11 a.m. to noon Location: Hero Arts Rubber Stamps, Inc., 1033 44th Avenue, Oakland Speakers: Debbie Raphael, Director, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente Vice President for Workplace Safety and Environmental Stewardship; Aaron Leventhal, Owner, Hero Arts; Gretchen Lee Salter, Breast Cancer Fund and CHANGE coalition Agenda: Media briefing: 11 to 11:30 a.m. Tour of the Hero Arts facility: 11:30 to noon Phone call-in: Noon to 12:30 p.m. Call-in number: 888-955-8945 Code: 35977 To get to Hero Arts: Take Interstate 580 East toward downtown Oakland, exit on High Street and turn right. Turn left off High Street onto San Leandro Street (just past the BART tracks), then take the first left onto 44th Street. Hero Arts is the second building on the left. The address is 1033 44th Avenue. For further information contact Jim Marxen at (916) 324-6544 or (916) 869-5056
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