(Reprinted from breastcancerfund.org.)
Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Edward Markey, D-Mass., have introduced legislation to strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to provide greater protections for public health than are in place today. TSCA has not been updated since it was enacted in 1976, despite enormous advances in our scientific understanding of the connection between chemical exposures and disease.
Most Americans assume the 85,000 chemicals in commerce have been tested for safety so that the people exposed to them are not being put at risk, especially young children or pregnant women. But that’s not the case. The truth is the chemical industry has virtual free rein to put untested and unsafe chemicals into consumer products and our air, water and soil.
The price we pay for a weak and ineffective chemicals law is expensive and preventable health problems, including breast cancer, which has been linked to exposure to chemicals in the environment.
The Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act will strengthen TSCA by setting new standards that will:
- Require rapid review of toxic chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment with chemical industry sharing the cost of the federal safety review.
- Require the EPA to consider all of the ways people are exposed to a chemical, reflecting real-world conditions.
- Preserve the EPA’s authority to regulate consumer products and monitor imported products for dangerous chemicals.
- Protect the right of states to more fully protect their citizens from unsafe chemical exposures linked to increasing rates of breast cancer and other diseases.