Chemicals Policy

Category archives for Chemicals Policy

Thumbs up and down for House bill to reform toxics law

A draft bill to reform the 40 year old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) received bi-partisan unanimous support on May 14 by a House subcommittee. Health and environmental groups say lawmakers are moving in the right direction toward a bill the groups may be able to support.

Kudos to Sarah Maslin Nir for shedding light on the working conditions faced by nail salon workers in her recent two-part New York Times exposé “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers.”

Senators pushing TSCA reform bill that’s missing the law’s poster child

Public health researchers, agency officials and scholars describe the Toxic Substances Control Act as a defective, outdated law. They often use EPA’s failed effort to ban asbestos as a poster child for the broken law. A TSCA “reform” bill currently has traction in the Senate, but it’s left behind the poster child.

Today, Maine’s legislature held a hearing on the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act, a proposal to require employers to identify harmful chemicals in the workplace and replace them with safer alternatives. It’s the perfect example of state action on behalf of worker safety and exactly the kind of measure that might no longer be possible under two congressional proposals aimed at overhauling the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

Labor group outlines significant flaws in chemical reform bill, joins growing list of opponents

The AFL-CIO joins a growing list of organizations which have raised serious concerns—or outright oppose—the Vitter/Udall bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Advocates work to expand consumer concern from humanely treated food to humanely treated workers; workers with children face struggles in Silicon Valley; Texas lawmakers introduce bill aimed at fertilizer plants; Microsoft to require paid leave policies at its suppliers; and the McDonald’s wage hike is too small for too few.

For years, advocates have been calling on policymakers to reform the nation’s outdated chemical safety laws. Today, two such bills stand before Congress — one that advocates say better protects the public’s health and another that advocates warn is a dangerous step backward.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers continue to face dangerous exposures to diacetyl; paid sick leave legislation introduced in West Virginia; home health workers rally for living wages; and the rise of the independent contractor classification threatens worker rights.

Injuries and deaths on minds of striking Steelworkers

Delayed maintenance, production pressure and fatigue from too much overtime are factors that compromise workplace safety. These are some of the issues Steelworkers have on the bargaining table during the union’s biggest strike in 35 years.

Introduction of a new TSCA reform bill is expected some time this spring. In the meantime, The Pump Handle takes a look at what’s at stake in TSCA reform and why the outcome matters to those who care about protecting and improving occupational and public health.