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Main U.S. Toxics Law Failing to Ensure Safety of Thousands of Chemicals
Date:2/26/2009

e safety of the chemicals and chemical products we make and use every day," noted Denison. "Without prompt action, we also risk becoming a dumping ground for unsafe products produced elsewhere in the world."

Citing EPA's inability to use TSCA to restrict even highly dangerous chemicals such as asbestos and formaldehyde, Denison's testimony enumerated the law's key structural flaws, including that it:

  • Fails to provide EPA with adequate authority to require companies to test their chemicals so that unsafe - as well as safer - chemicals can be identified;
  • Forbids EPA from sharing much of the limited chemical information it does obtain; and
  • Imposes an essentially impossible burden on EPA to prove actual harm before it can initiate any action to control or replace a dangerous chemical.

"Our outmoded policy is directly responsible for perpetuating a chemicals economy that is dysfunctional, ill-informed and unable to distinguish a dangerous chemical from a safe one," concluded Denison. "A top-to-bottom overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act is essential to establish a market that is driven by knowledge rather than ignorance and uncertainty, and that rewards innovation toward safer chemicals and products."

Denison noted Environmental Defense Fund's support last year of the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act (H.R. 6100/S. 3040), which embodies the major elements of needed TSCA reforms.

Click here to view Denison's testimony.

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SOURCE Environmental Defense Fund
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