The San Francisco Chronicle editors are weighing in on the Toxic Substances Control Act in an editorial published April 27, 2015. They’re coming out swinging on the right side of history– that is, in opposition to the industry-sponsored Udall-Vitter bill, and in support of the Boxer-Markey bill, which offers up REAL reform of TSCA.
“It’s hard to find anyone who would disagree with Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund, that the law is ‘by all accounts, an incredible failure’ because of the maddeningly slow process of getting potentially dangerous toxic substances out of circulation.”
The editors explain how the process for reviewing toxic substances is so cumbersome that the EPA has required safety testing of less than 1 percent of an estimated 80,000 registered synthetic chemicals.
“The so-called reform bill recently introduced by Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., would accelerate the testing of high-risk chemicals ever so marginally — just 10 in the first year.”
The Udall-Vitter bill has run into such fierce opposition from environmental and public health groups because it would “preempt states from stepping into the void when the federal government lacks the will or resources to enact or enforce meaningful toxic chemical regulation.” The Environmental Protection Agency has also warned that the bill could even go beyond regulations specifically aimed at chemicals and erode state clean air and water laws.
Alternatively, a bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Edward Markey, D-Mass., would allow states to continue to go beyond federal law in regulating toxic chemicals.
“In 1986, Californians passed Proposition 65, which has been highly effective in forcing companies to change the composition of their products to reduce consumers’ exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. Examples range from lead in baby bibs to cadmium in jewelry to 4-methylimidazole in soft drinks.
Californians long ago realized they could not count on the federal government to protect public health. States must not lose that right to take action against toxic chemicals.”
There is still time to your raise your voice on the Toxic Substances Control Act. Tell Congress to Oppose a TSCA Reform Bill that Would Endanger Public Health.