Support the Toxic Chemical Safety Act! Strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

October 7, 2010
By
Working with the American Sustainable Business Council and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, Green America is addressing the need to fundamentally strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This is the primary federal law that is supposed to regulate dangerous chemicals.

BACKGROUND: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Incredibly, more than 80,000 chemicals have been produced and used in the U.S, and the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated testing for a mere 200 chemicals – and has restricted only 5 chemicals! Representatives Henry Waxman and Bobby Rush introduced the Toxic Chemical Safety Act in the House on July 23rd as a companion bill to Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Safer Chemicals Act introduced in April. Both bills, H.R.5820 and S.3209, would amend TSCA in important ways.

In addition to the health and environmental reasons, there is a strong business case for comprehensive TSCA reform:

  • Leveling the playing field, by requiring existing chemicals to meet the same testing requirements as new chemicals.
  • Expanding markets for safer and greener products.
  • Creating a more predictable regulatory system.
  • Reducing the costs and risks, especially product liability (for example, asbestos), associated with managing toxic chemicals in products across supply chains.
  • Lowering expenses from chemically induced employee illness and enhancing productivity from improved employee health.
  • Identifying the presence of chemicals of high concern in products.
  • Increasing consumer confidence and trust among employees, communities, and investors, leading to a more positive business environment.
  • Improving transparency and communication throughout the supply chain, leading to increased confidence for downstream users and reduced risks from supply chain interruptions.
  • Creating a more competitive, innovative, and economically sustainable chemical industry in the U.S.

ACTIONS NEEDED:

1.  Our focus right now is on the House. Please sign the Business Leaders Letter in Support of the Toxic Chemical Safety Act »

 2. Please contact your own Representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor the TSCA reform bill in the House, Bill #5820.

Find your Representative’s contact information »

To see if your Representative is already a co-sponsor visit thomas.gov and add the bill number in the search field: 5820

Talking Points:

Let the staff know that you are a business leader calling about H.R. 5820 (Toxic Chemical Safety Act).

You are a business leader (name of business, brief description, your title).

You support H.R. 5820 and urge your Representative to co-sponsor it. Sample talking points you may use include:

1. Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act can support business innovation in rebuilding and strengthening the United States economy we need new chemical polices that prioritize green chemistry and engineering and sustainable materials. The future will put new pressure on the chemical and manufacturing sectors to invent and develop safer and more sustainable chemicals and materials.

2. Americans are alarmed by the constant news of toxic chemicals in their homes, and are suffering a crisis of confidence in both American businesses and lawmakers.

3. Most American businesses want to provide healthy products and services to their customers; but our lax chemical laws make it hard for them to make informed decisions about which chemicals and materials are safe to use. Safer chemicals protect human and environmental health, cut the costs of regulation, hazardous waste storage and disposal, worker protection, health care costs, and future liabilities.

4. Health costs have real-world impact on businesses.
-The cost of health effects linked to chemical exposure is conservatively estimated to be in the range of $50 billion a year. These costs have a real-world impact on businesses.
-There are approximately 82,000 chemicals in the marketplace, only a small fraction of which have been evaluated for health hazards.
-These health impacts affect our businesses from consumers with less of their pay check to spend on our products that they need to employees who are unable to come to work because of their or their family member’s illness.

For more background material on “The Business Case for TSCA Reform” visit:

Safer Chemicals Fact Sheet

More Resources

 

3. Writing an Op-Ed:

We are also looking for business leaders who would be willing to work with us to write an Op-Ed or letter to the editor for their local paper. This will help ensure that the issue stays in the public mind. Click here for a sample you can use!