Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act
On Wednesday, July 31, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on why stricter federal regulation of industrial chemicals is needed, and Nancy Buermeyer, our senior policy strategist testified on behalf of vulnerable populations and women affected by breast cancer. Raise your voice with Nancy to tell your senators we need safer chemicals!
On June 13, 2013, Breast Cancer Fund President and CEO Jeanne Rizzo spoke before Congress about the urgent need to reform the woefully broken Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); watch her speak and read her written testimony.
Jeanne points out that under TSCA, the Environmental Protection Agency has only been able to require safety testing for 200 of the 84,000 chemicals in use today.
Even worse, they've only banned or restricted five of those chemicals. And, despite enormous advances in our scientific understanding of the connection between chemicals and disease, TSCA has not been updated since it was passed in 1976.
What chemicals are linked to breast cancer? Read our research summaries.Browse chemicals >
Flame retardant chemicals are a great example of TSCA's failures: flame retardants in products like living room sofas, carpet padding, mattresses, computers, TVs and children's car seats bioaccumulate in people, are hormonally active and are linked to a wide array of health problems. Yet under existing law the EPA can't pull them from the market. The agency even had to approve a supposedly safer alternative in the absence of safety data, which eventually found the substitute chemical to be toxic, too.
The Breast Cancer Fund is advocating for chemical management reform laws that will finally give the EPA the tools it needs to truly protect public health, helping to prevent not only breast cancer, but many other diseases as well. We are working for legislation that it provides:
- Quick action on the chemicals we already know are bad for human health and the environment
- Basic safety information on ALL chemicals in commerce, with industry bearing the burden of proof to show that chemicals are safe
- A health standard that will truly protect the public, including our most vulnerable citizens: our children
The recently introduced Chemical Safety Improvement Act does not adequately address these key provisions. It fails to protect people from toxic chemicals linked to disease and jeopardizes the ability of future generations to enjoy healthy lives, which has led the Breast Cancer Fund to oppose the legislation until it is amended to address its serious flaws. We call on senators from both sides of the aisle to support amendments that transform it into a bill that the American people deserve: a robust defense of the right of people to live free from contamination by toxic chemicals. Read our full statement on the CSIA.
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