The Environmental Working Group has a new campaign, to gather support for the new Kid Safe Chemicals Act. To understand what the fuss is all about, we’ve copied the page from the EWGs web site, below, but you can go to http://www.ewg.org/kidsafe and see what you can do to help. There is a declaration you can sign in support of the bill as well as lots of information. This legislation is sorely needed in the US – Europe has already passed it’s own REACH legislation, which mandates replacing approximately 2,000 known toxic chemicals with more benign models.
KID SAFE CHEMICALS ACT:
“The nation’s toxic chemical regulatory law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, is in drastic need of reform. Passed in 1976 and never amended since, TSCA is widely regarded as the weakest of all major environmental laws on the books today.
When passed, the Act declared safe some 62,000 chemicals already on the market, even though there were little or no data to support this policy. Since that time another 20,000 chemicals have been put into commerce in the United States, also with little or no data to support their safety.
The human race is now polluted with hundreds of industrial chemicals with little or no understanding of the consequences. Babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies when they enter the world. Testing by Environmental Working Group has identified 455 chemicals in people, and again, no one has any idea if these exposures are safe.
We are at a tipping point, where the pollution in people is increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer, to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility, and birth defects. Yet even as our knowledge about the link between chemical exposure and human disease grows, the government has almost no authority to protect people from even the most hazardous chemicals on the market.
The Campaign: Pass the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act
This pollution in people is the direct result of a statute that does not require chemicals to be proven safe to get on the market, or stay on the market. Under federal law EPA does not have the authority to demand the information it needs to evaluate a chemical’s risk, and neither manufacturers nor the EPA are required to prove a chemical’s safety as a condition of use.
The Kid-Safe Chemical Act will change all this through a fundamental overhaul of our nation’s chemical regulatory law. Specifically, the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act:
- requires that industrial chemicals be safe for infants, kids and other vulnerable groups;
- requires that new chemicals be safety tested before they are sold;
- requires chemical manufacturers to test and prove that the 62,000 chemicals already on the market that have never been tested are safe in order for them to remain in commerce;
- requires EPA to review “priority” chemicals, those which are found in people, on an expedited schedule;
- requires regular biomonitoring to determine what chemicals are in people and in what amounts;
- requires regular updates of health and safety data and provides EPA with clear authority to request additional information and tests;
- provides incentives for manufacturers to further reduce health hazards;
- requires EPA to promote safer alternatives and alternatives to animal testing;
- protects state and local rights; and
- requires that this information be publicly available.
Through the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act we can give our children a safer and healthier future.