Yesterday, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Reps. Hilda L. Solis (D- Calif.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduced long-awaited legislation to protect Americans, especially children, from toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products. The bill would reform the nation's current outdated law governing chemicals, The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA.)
From Sen. Lautenberg:
"Every day, consumers rely on household products that contain hundreds of chemicals. The American public expects the federal government to keep families safe by testing chemicals — but the government is letting them down. We already have strong regulations for pesticides and pharmaceuticals — it’s common sense that we do the same for chemicals that end up in household items such as bottles and toys.”
The bill, of course, is not perfect. In fact there are three major flaws that could undermine its overall impact:
It allows new chemicals to enter the market and be used in products for many years without first requiring companies to show the substances are safe.
It doesn’t provide clear authority for the EPA to immediately restrict production and use of the most dangerous chemicals, even those that have been extensively studied and are restricted by governments around the world.
It doesn’t require the EPA to adopt the National Academy of Sciences’ recommendations to incorporate the best and latest science when determining the safety of chemicals. The Senate bill simply calls on the EPA to "consider" those recommendations
Still, despite these flaws, the Kid Safe Chemicals Act is the strongest bill yet towards ensuring that kids get better protection from the chemicals used to make the products that surround them.