Today, Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) jointly introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill seeks to reform the weak and outdated federal law that currently regulates toxic chemicals. This compromise bill, the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013,” would require all chemicals to be screened to protect public health, and would require chemicals that are given a “high priority” risk label to undergo further safety evaluations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The bill also would equip the EPA to take action against chemicals determined to be unsafe. Under the current law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which has been in effect since 1976, only approximately 200 of the 80,000 chemicals approved for sale in this country have undergone safety testing.
The following statement is from Earthjustice legislative representative Andrea Delgado:
“We welcome the effort to advance TSCA reform and we look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure that this bill protects human health and the environment. We have to be sure that the bill is sufficiently protective for all people, especially those overburdened communities that are continually exposed to chemicals and vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.
“We commend Senators Lautenberg and Vitter for leading this bipartisan effort, reinforcing just how crucial it is that Congress amend TSCA so that we can feel confident that the chemicals we are exposed to are not placing us, our children and our communities at risk.”