On May 22, 2013, U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and David Vitter presented a new agreement for reforming chemical safety testing and regulation, the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013”. The proposed new regulation is supported by representatives of the Democrat and Republican parties, along with special interest groups from industry and environmental protection. The new bill addresses shortcomings in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) from 1976 regulating chemicals in many consumer products. The recent development is seen as major breakthrough on the controversial issue of chemical regulation in consumer products, giving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more possibilities to remove unsafe chemicals from the market, requiring safety testing for all chemicals, and prioritizing chemicals for further evaluation. Chemicals that are used in food contact materials only will continue to be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It has so far not been clarified explicitly if and how food contact substances would be affected by the Lautenberg-Vitter bill.

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Senators Lautenberg and Vitter Reach Groundbreaking Agreement to Reform Nation’s Chemical Laws. Frank A. Lautenberg, Press release, May 22, 2013.

After 37 years, the Senate could finally revamp nation’s chemical-safety laws. Washington Post, May 22, 2013.