Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act
Most Americans assume that the industrial chemicals used in the United States have been tested for safety. Sadly, this is not the case.
Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Environmental Protection Agency has only been able to require safety testing for 200 of the 80,000 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.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a longtime champion for the reform of TSCA, reintroduced the Safe Chemicals Act (S. 696) in the Senate in April 2013. (For complete bill information, visit the Library of Congress.)
The Breast Cancer Fund supports the Safe Chemicals Act because 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
Together with our colleagues in the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, 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.
Related Blog Posts
Reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed changes to Prop. 65, the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.
Breast Cancer and the Environment (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences podcast, 3/15/2013)
Breast Cancer Fund President and CEO Jeanne Rizzo talks about why translating breast cancer research is critical for the decisions we make in our everyday lives.
Just as BPA disrupts our hormones, Big Chem is doing everything it can to disrupt the democratic process, using its money, power and influence to block government action that would protect pregnant women and children. On Friday, shortly after Californiaâs...
"The Prop 65 listing is yet another indictment of this toxic chemical that industry continues to argue is safe, despite waves of peer-reviewed scientific studies finding that BPA harms reproduction and is linked to breast cancer."