- Join E.O. Wilson at the Rachel Carson Biodiversity Symposium on May 27
- NEW DATE for Rachel's Sustainable Feast - Sunday, August 29
- Rachel's Sustainable Feast moves to September on the Bridge
- E.O. Wilson at Rachel Carson World Environment Day Event - May 27
- World Environment Day 2010: The Rachel Carson Legacy Challenge to be Used to Encourage Sustainable Action
- Life On Chemicals (Or: TSCA: A failed regulatory system that’s supposed to protect consumers from hazardous synthetic chemicals)
- Q&A with Patricia DeMarco
Life On Chemicals (Or: TSCA: A failed regulatory system that’s supposed to protect consumers from hazardous synthetic chemicals)
According to the Environmental Working Group, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) can be described in the following way:
“Imagine a regulatory system designed in theory to protect hundreds of millions of people from the potential harm of tens of thousands of chemicals in products they use every day. Imagine that this system did not require any health or safety studies prior to the marketing and sale of a chemical; did not require any monitoring of chemicals once they were in use; allowed producers to claim virtually all information related to a chemical as confidential business information and thus forever shield it from public view; and did not allow the public any right to sue or otherwise force testing or monitoring when independent scientists confirmed that significant contamination or hazards may exist. That is the reality of TSCA, the nation’s chief regulatory statute for commercial chemicals.”
TSCA, passed in 1976, addresses industrial chemicals, organic and inorganic, under the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. TSCA is separate from regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. For instance, TSCA does not cover food, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, nuclear materials, tobacco or pesticides, which are all covered by other legislation.
More than 63,000 chemicals were granted “grandfathered” approval for use in consumer and industrial products with the passage of TSCA. Since that time, the government has reviewed the safety of new chemicals. However, as there are no requirements for health and safety test data, rather, the regulators rely on the companies to supply information voluntarily. Today, there are approximately 82,000 chemicals used commercially in the United States, yet only a fraction (estimated to be around 200) have been tested for health safety (remember, not all of them fall under TSCA).
The Rachel Carson Homestead Association (RCHA) is hosting, with Champions for Sustainability (Sustainable Pittsburgh) a debate on TSCA reform featuring representatives from industry, advocacy and public health sectors. The public needs to have a say in TSCA. Learn more about this March 18 event in Pittsburgh. Your voice is needed!
For more information and registration – click here.