By Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Director
This Friday October 11th, marks the 37th birthday of our chemical laws on toxic chemicals and the question before us is: should we celebrate?
The short answer is no.
In honor of TSCA’s 37th "unbirthday" we'll post a series of blogs this week highlighting some of the failures of our federal law and outline a path towards safer chemicals.
The name of the primary law overseeing industrial chemicals is called the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The problem is that TSCA does very little to control toxic substances at all, contrary to it’s name.
At this point, most people glaze over and start to think, learning about out of date federal laws is the last thing I want to learn about, zzzzzzz.
Stay with me, it’s interesting I promise.
As a result of TSCA’s failure, the American public is exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals from the products we use, the air we breathe and places we play and work.
A short list as to why TSCA’s failure has become your problem:
- Chemicals used to make the products we use every day, are virtually untested and unregulated by federal law.
- The result is the widespread exposure to toxic chemicals including: formaldehyde in building materials and clothing, hormone-disrupting chemicals in air freshners, and cancer-causing chemicals in car seats and couches. The list goes on.
- Data from the CDC confirms that exposure to toxic chemicals is widespread, including the vast majority of pregnant women testing positive for toxic chemicals.
- Many communities in the United States face high levels of toxic chemical pollution and create hot spot communities, disproportionately affected.
- The scientific literature showing harmful effects from toxic chemicals continues to grow each day.
- It’s very hard (some would say near impossible) to navigate the marketplace and avoid all toxic chemicals, leaving little by way of consumer choice.
The problem is vast, but so is our coalition.
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families was created specifically to reform TSCA’s failures and protect the public from toxic chemicals. Our coalition of over 450 organizations and businesses has banded together with a centralized message and mission: meaningful reform of our federal laws on toxic chemicals.
Please take a moment and send Congress a message that you want real, meaningful reform of our chemical laws. Your voice will help transition our economy away from toxic chemicals towards safer, healthier products, workplaces and communities.
Join the movement now!