In an article published on August 25, 2015 by the digital edition of The Guardian, journalist Marc Gunther reports on the push from U.S. Congress, industry, and environmental, public health and consumer groups to reform chemicals regulation in the U.S.. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. law governing chemicals policy, has not been significantly updated since its enactment in 1976, Gunther writes. Growing concern and confusion over chemical safety in the past decades have led to an “unlikely coalition” of politicians, environmentalists, the chemical industry, consumer product brands and retailers calling for better regulation of chemicals to restore consumer confidence in the safety of products. In the meantime, several U.S. states as well as retailers and healthcare providers have enacted their own policies to regulate chemical use aiming to phase out potentially harmful chemicals, Gunther explains. However, without government oversight, the autonomous removal of chemicals from the market does not guarantee that their replacements will be safer or perform better, Gunther further notes. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have prepared bills to reform TSCA (FPF reported). Ultimately, the entire U.S. Congress will need to reconcile the proposals and decide on a federal TSCA reform.
Marc Gunther (August 25, 2015). “Congress is finally poised to rethink outdated U.S. chemical laws.” The Guardian