Safe Chemicals Act Re-introduced to Congress Last Week

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Yesterday Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) reintroduced the federal Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. If passed, this bill would reform the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to repair some of its flaws. It would require that chemical manufacturers prove their chemicals are safe before they go on the market. Additionally, it would provide a system for testing the health impacts of chemicals already in use and enable the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify and place restrictions on the worst chemicals.

Research from our sister organization, Silent Spring Institute,has identified 216 chemicals that cause mammary tumors in animal studies. Over 100 of these chemicals are so common in our environments that we are exposed to them on a daily basis. Given these findings, it is clear that our outdated chemical regulations cannot sufficiently protect the public health from these contaminants.

The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition supported the Safe Chemicals Act throughout the last legislative session because of the potential to positively impact the health of American citizens. In 2011, we traveled to Capitol Hill to discuss our support of the bill with Senators and their staff. Just one year later in July 2012, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted on it favorably, making this the first time in over three decades a senate panel voted to reform TSCA. The bill was sent to the full senate for a vote but unfortunately it died in December with the end of the legislative session.

The new Safe Chemicals Act reopens the opportunity to require testing of chemicals that contribute to staggering breast cancer rates. For the first time, chemical industries would be required to develop and provide information on the health and safety of chemicals in order for them to remain in use.

Please contact your legislators to support the Safe Chemicals Act throughout the legislative process. Click here to find your legislators’ contact information.

Read our Press Release: Federal Safe Chemicals Act Has Potential for Breast Cancer Prevention

Media Coverage

Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested? New York Times

A Toothless Law on Toxic Chemicals The New York Times

Lautenberg to Push Bill to Regulate Chemicals Philadelphia Inquirer

Safe Chemicals Act Introduced in Time for Spring Cleaning Public News Service