Jun 25, 2015

House passes bill to overhaul toxic chemical safety laws; 1976 bill has never been reformed

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the House passed legislation to overhaul toxic chemical safety laws, Cristina Marcos reports for The Hill. Legislation, which passed Tuesday by a 398-1 vote, "would require the Environmental Protection Agency to review chemicals in products and issue risk management regulations in an expedited manner." A January 2014 chemical spill contaminated drinking water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people in Charleston, W.Va., and surrounding communities.  

The Toxic Substances Control Act law was originally enacted in 1976, Marcos writes. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the bill's author, said, "The time is now to update this outdated law." Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) "warned that toxic chemicals needed to be reined in to protect public health," Marcos writes. Pallone said, "Toxic chemicals can be found in the products we use every day and are steadily building up in our bodies and the environment. Consumers are worried about chemicals like BPA and triclosan, but they don't know how to avoid them. Something needs to change." (Read more