Tag archives for TSCA
Many environmental, health and consumer groups are shrugging their shoulders about the TSCA reform bill headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature. Their reaction—the silence—is striking.
Senators should mark Mesothelioma Awareness Day (September 26) by considering asbestos as the litmus test for the adequacy of any TSCA reform legislation. They’ll see that S.697 fails the test.
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.
If you’re in the market for a paint remover and head to your local hardware store, most of the products you’re likely to find will contain methylene chloride. These products carry hazard warnings that say “Danger!” and “Poison” along with cautionary statements about the chemical’s nervous system effects and the possibility that exposure can cause blindness, birth defects, cancer and respiratory harm. But there’s little – if anything – to suggest such products are so hazardous that they were responsible for at least 14 deaths in the United States between 2000 and 2011. These products are banned in the EU. Are there alternatives and why are they still for sale in the U.S.?
It may come as a surprise to those not familiar with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – the primary law that regulates chemicals used in the US that go into products other than cosmetics, drugs and pesticides – to learn that about 15,000 chemicals on the TSCA inventory have their identities claimed as trade secrets.
What do these places have in common: Camp Lejeune in North Carolina; Mountain View, California, where Google headquarters are located; Endicott, NY – the birthplace of IBM; and 389 Superfund sites in at least 48 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? All are contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogenic solvent. TCE’s health hazards are well-documented. So why are Republicans rushing to condemn EPA’s just-completed TCE risk assessment?
In the wake of the WV water contamination, the public dialogue revolves around the need for more information and disclosure about the potential health effects of toxic chemicals. A newish OSHA regulation does just the opposite for workers exposed to chemical hazards.
This is probably too much to hope: the water contamination emergency in WV be recognized as the latest example of the inadequacies in our nation’s policies on toxic chemicals.
Children breathe more air, drink more water and eat more food per unit of body weight than adults. Therefore, if a child’s air, water or food is contaminated with chemicals, children receive a larger dose per unit of body weight than would an adult in the same situation. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been unable to regulate chemicals effectively, and new chemical legislation must consider these key physiological differences.