Don't Abolish State Protections Against Toxic Chemicals

  • by: Jen Johnson
  • recipient: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, United States Senate

Unless we act now, we could lose our best chance in a generation to protect consumers from toxic chemicals.

For decades, companies have been allowed to sell consumers toys and household products that are linked to cancer, birth defects, and learning disabilities. These companies don't have to prove that the chemicals they use are safe before exposing millions of people to them.

Congress is considering a new bipartisan bill that's the first viable chance to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. But the current bill, sponsored by lawmakers who received lobbying money from the chemical industry, includes loopholes for corporations and attacks the right for states to protect consumers.

The new law would require safety tests for new chemicals before they go on the market, but once the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins assessing a suspicious chemical, states would be barred from imposing their own restrictions on that chemical for the same uses the EPA is investigating.

It could take the EPA a decade or more to complete investigation of chemicals and enact regulations, leaving Americans exposed to suspicious chemicals for no good reason.

Congress is starting hearings on the new bill on March 18th.

We can't wait another generation to protect Americans from secret toxic chemicals. Please sign this petition to urge Congress to strengthen the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

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