But because of our weak chemical safety law, you and I are being exposed to toxic chemicals without our consent. The law that should be protecting us — the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) — doesn't require chemical makers to prove the 80,000 chemicals made in the U.S. are safe before they end up in the everyday things that make up our lives — from the receipts in your wallet to the food packaging in your cupboard, from the jewelry around your neck to the sofa in your living room.
That's why this week Earthjustice and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition launched a series of ads to remind members of Congress that it's up to them to pull the plug on this unregulated experiment and get to work fixing our nation's chemical law.
Right now Congress is considering legislation that would, for the first time, require the chemical industry to demonstrate that chemicals are safe before they end up in our homes, schools, and places of work. In other words, no more experimenting with public health. In another major shift, the legislation would require chemical manufacturers to provide basic health and safety information for all chemicals as a condition for staying in or entering the marketplace, and to make that information public.
Members of Congress discussed the bill at a Capitol Hill hearing last Thursday. But with the fast approaching fall elections, there are a lot of things vying for lawmakers' attention. We need your help to remind them of how important this issue is. Please take two seconds to drop them an e-mail asking them to support the Safe Chemicals Act and the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act.
And if you're feeling adventurous, consider asking them in person. Members of Congress spend the month of August traveling around the communities they represent. Find out when they'll be in your hometown and stop by to let them know why toxic chemical reform is important to you. I promise to feature each brave soul who does so in a future blog post. Send a photo or your personal story to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written for Earthjustice and was reprinted with permission.