We need to enforce our chemical safety laws

  • by: Earthjustice
  • recipient: EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
Our families and communities have a right to be protected from toxic chemicals found in the products we use, the air we breathe, and the water we drink on a daily basis. Far too often, however, these toxic chemicals go unregulated, and the agencies that are charged with protecting us fail to consider or address the threat these substances pose to public health and the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed rules to change the process it uses to evaluate the risks of toxic chemical exposures. Join Earthjustice, the premier nonprofit public interest environmental law organization, to offer your input today.

The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the country's main chemical safety law. It provides the EPA with broad authority to restrict or ban chemicals' production, use, distribution, and disposal to protect human health and the environment.

When the law was first enacted in 1976, it was a failure. It allowed chemical companies to put chemicals on the market without showing that they were safe and provided little authority for the government to regulate chemicals that were widely known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive harm, and other serious health effects.

For several decades, Earthjustice has been fighting alongside our clients and partners in the courtroom and the halls of Congress for badly needed upgrades to the Toxic Substances Control Act.

This recently proposed rule from the EPA is a result of those efforts, and now we need to participate in the public comment period to ensure that EPA's risk evaluations address all of the ways that people and the environmental are exposed to and harmed by toxic chemicals.

We are advocating for the strongest possible protections for human health and the environment with a particular focus on reducing the toxic burdens on low-income communities and communities of color, which have disproportionately borne the brunt of EPA's failure to adequately evaluate and regulate toxic chemicals.

Sign today to show your support for these protections!
SUBJECT: RE: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2023-0496 - Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act

Dear EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention:

I am writing to you because families and workers across the country need the strongest protections from harmful chemicals. EPA's current rules for evaluating chemical risks understate the harm caused by toxic substances, leaving people exposed to unsafe levels of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive harm, and other severe human health and environmental impacts.

As EPA revises those rules, we urge it to protect public health and the environment by requiring comprehensive risk evaluations that:

  • Do not exclude any conditions of use or exposure routes and pathways;

  • Address the increased risks to people who are exposed to a chemical from multiple sources (such as communities with multiple polluting facilities in their neighborhood), exposure pathways (such as people who are exposed to the chemical in their workplace and in consumer products in their homes), and exposure routes (such as people who inhale the chemical and ingest it in their food or drinking water),;

  • Address the increased risks to people who are exposed to multiple chemicals and stressors that render them more susceptible to harm;

  • Address exposures from chemical incidents, spills, and other unplanned but foreseeable chemical releases;

  • Address all of the chemical's environmental effects, including harm to the climate, ozone layer, and threatened and endangered species and other wildlife;

  • Fully address chemicals' risks to workers, including workers who are not provided with or protected by personal protective equipment;

  • Undergo robust peer review;

  • Result in a determination of the risks posed by the chemical as a whole, as opposed to piecemeal risk determinations for each use.


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