Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Pat Rizzuto
Oct. 27 — The federal chemicals law has been updated, but advocacy groups tell Bloomberg BNA they are going to keep the political and economic pressures on companies to spur development of chemicals and products that are safer than those they replace.
The goal of updating the Toxic Substances Control Act “was safer chemicals and healthy families,” said Andy Igrejas, who in 2009 organized the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign by forming a nationwide coalition of hundreds of environmental, health and labor groups that have pushed for chemical policy reform.
Their efforts, industry’s agreement that reform was needed, the contributions of other groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, and congressional champions finally resulted in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Pub. L. No. 114-182), which amended the Toxic Chemicals Control Act on June 22.
The law boosts the Environmental Protection Agency’s authorities to obtain toxicity, exposure and other information on chemicals and regulate chemicals when needed.
“We have an interest in making the most out of this law,” Igrejas told Bloomberg BNA in a recent interview.
Yet, “it’s clear the law will not solve the issue of environmental degradation and public health impacts from unregulated chemicals either quickly or even on a reasonable time frame on its own,” he said.
It could take a decade or more before the EPA begins to regulate the first group of chemicals it will begin to assess later this year, Igrejas and Daniel Rosenberg, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, have told Bloomberg BNA.
The nurses, physicians, public interest and other groups that make up the Safer Chemicals coalition, therefore, will keep working on chemical policy reform efforts on three fronts, Igrejas said. The three are:
Sarah Doll, director of the chemical-policy oriented organization called Safer States and the more consumer-oriented group called Healthy Babies Bright Futures, told Bloomberg BNA the many “pieces” on the chessboard of chemical policy will keep moving and reacting to each other to keep the pressure on the intertwined policy and economic fronts.
The upcoming election is likely to alter the involvement of some states, Doll said. But others, such as New York and California, which pursued chemical disclosure policies this year, are likely to take them up again in 2017, she said.
Requiring companies to disclose the presence of formaldehyde, styrene, methylene chloride or other chemicals in children’s products—as Washington state already does—makes manufacturers work with their supply chains, which can have a variety of worker, consumer and other safety benefits, Doll said.
Such disclosure also helps retailers decide which products to stock, she said. Large retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Target Corp. have had dramatic effects on chemical policies, Doll said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)