Real TSCA Reform

From Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Campaign Director

This week and last, our coalition partners pulled together to send thousands of letters to Congress, in anticipation of expected Congressional action to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). I continue to be inspired by how fired up people are on our issue, and the diversity and momentum our coalition has developed in its relatively short history

It’s not every day that you can bring together groups like Kaiser Permanente, Mom’s Rising, American Nurses Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Autism Society of America, and the Union of Concerned Scientists to share a common vision of reform. Our coalition represents more than 200 organizations, which in turn represent more than 11 million people. The unique nature of our coalition can be seen in the recent wave of pressure we’ve been putting on Congress.

Case in point: our coalition has sent five letters to Congress, totaling signatures from over 406 organizations and businesses. And what are all of these different voices asking for? A strong bill that will put common sense limits on toxic chemicals.

Here’s the latest on the letters we’ve sent:

  1. Environmental justice advocates and leaders sent a letter to Congress asking for strong leadership on environmental justice provisions in the bill. What is environmental justice?
  2. Health professional organizations like the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association sent a letter to Congress asking for real reform.
  3. The health care sector is weighing in too. Why? The health care sector is the single largest user of chemicals in today’s economy. The signatories on our letter represent over 87 billion dollars of purchasing power every year. What does that mean? They spend over 87 billion dollars purchasing products for hospitals, building materials, IV bags, hospital cleaners — all of which contain chemicals regulated (or not) under TSCA.
  4. Over 160 organizations from 23 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter asking for Congress to ensure expedited action on the “worst of the worst” chemicals — persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs). In addition, organizations representing the Great Lakes region have weighed in.
  5. The Great Lakes are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals, and have sent a letter describing early warning signs of our broken system.

The bottom line is that we’re building momentum and we want you to join the fun. With your support, as an individual, organization or business, we can make real reform happen in Washington.

I think it seems reasonable to have legislation that would prioritize the “worst of the worst” chemicals (like PBTs, formaldehyde, BPA, asbestos), require basic health and safety information on chemicals, and protect the most vulnerable. Don’t you?

Let Congress and Administrator Jackson know that you support common sense limits on toxic chemicals.

Learn more about the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition