WASHINGTON – After a steady string of disturbing headlines in just the past week about chemicals and health – erectile dysfunction linked to BPA, which is found in everyday products, phthalates and mercury present in pregnant women – a Tuesday Nov. 17 hearing in Congress will examine how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should begin the task of reviewing tens of thousands of chemicals in widespread use.

After years of debating the flaws of the U.S. law on toxic chemicals, this Congressional hearing will begin to examine promising solutions for its reform. The 33-year old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is widely acknowledged as having failed to give EPA the authority it needs to protect the public from health-harming chemical exposures.

“We need strong reforms to protect the public from unsafe toxic chemicals,” said Andy Igrejas, Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign. “The public is rightly concerned about growing evidence linking toxic chemicals to certain cancers and a long list of other chronic diseases.”

WHAT: Hearing before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection: “Prioritizing Chemicals for Safety Determination”

WHEN: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 11:00 a.m. EST

WHERE: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building

WHO: Testimony will be presented by:

  • Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator for Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances at the U.S. EPA
  • Eric Sampson, Ph.D., from the Centers for Disease Control, Division of Environmental Health
  • Daryl Ditz, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for International Environmental Law (a member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition)
  • Bill Greggs, on behalf of the Consumer Specialty Products Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the Soap and Detergent Association
  • Beth Bosley, Consultant, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates

The hearing will be audio webcast at www.energycommerce.house.gov

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a coalition of diverse groups united by their common concern about toxic chemicals in our homes, places of work, and products we use every day.

Media availability:

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition
Andy Igrejas—National Campaign Director
aigrejas@environmentalhealthfund.org, 202-549-3958

Center for International Environmental Law
Daryl Ditz, Ph.D. – Senior Policy Advisor
dditz@ciel.org, 202-742-5849, cell: 202-494-2014

Environmental Defense Fund
Richard Denison, Ph.D.—Senior Scientist
rdenison@edf.org, 202-387-3500, x3348

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Daniel Rosenberg – Senior Attorney
drosenberg@nrdc.org, 202-289-2398