Get the Facts:
The reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives EPA important new authorities to tackle the problem of toxic chemicals. For the first time, there are also enforceable deadlines and schedules for EPA work on chemicals as well as dedicated funding from fees paid by industry. The pace of change will be slow, however. There are some unnecessary activities required that will divert resources and there are some loopholes in the law. State authority is unduly infringed under the bill, but enough is preserved that states can still take the lead in public health interventions for many if not most, chemicals.
TSCA (toss-ka) stands for the Toxic Substances Control Act. Passed in 1976 under President Gerald Ford, it is our nation’s main law aimed at regulating chemicals used in every day products. The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition is calling for an overhaul of TSCA based on the law’s inability to protect the American public from exposure to harmful chemicals.
Here’s a list of chemicals linked to serious environmental and health problems, including cancer and reproductive disorders. Check out our fact sheets which draw from the leading peer-reviewed science.
The Great Lakes, the largest freshwater resource in the world and a national treasure, is polluted by historical and ongoing releases of hazardous chemicals. Many chemicals still used in commercial products today pose hazards to the Great Lakes. This map locates the worst areas of contamination.
In a groundbreaking report released in May of 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel provided strong confirmation that exposure to toxic chemicals is an important and under-recognized risk factor for cancer, and recommended that the Government take immediate action to reverse this trend.
Health care institutions across the country have reduced exposures to harmful chemicals by eliminating known and likely hazards and switching to safer alternatives. These institutions reduce their disposal costs and liability while improving the overall health of employees, patients, and communities.
Using safer chemicals makes sense for our economy, health, and environment. Designing new chemicals to be safer from the start reduces the costs of regulation, costs of hazardous waste storage and disposal, costs of providing worker protections, and potential liabilities.
Obesity is a major and growing problem in the United States. Shockingly, about one in three adults is obese, and today’s children and teens are three times as likely today to be obese as they were 30 years ago. Changes in diet and exercise in the last several decades are generally believed to be at the root of the problem. But a growing body of research is finding that toxic chemicals also may be part of the problem.
Listen up, men! Believe it or not, every day you are exposed to a host of harmful or untested chemicals. These chemicals can be found in everyday items, from your smartphone to your wrinkle-free dress shirt, putting you at risk for conditions related to sexual and reproductive health and fertility.
The EPA has announced their proposed criteria for expanding their list of chemicals of concern that require action to reduce exposure. Check out the chemicals here for a guide to the known concerns and major uses of each chemical.