Chronic illnesses in this generation of children are at rates we’ve never seen before, science shows us now that perhaps 90% of cancers have some environmental/lifestyle link, the new normal is that early puberty, rescue inhalers and autism are to be expected in every small community. We can also find long lists of toxic chemicals and longer lists of studies about their links to chronic disease.
When it comes to updating the 1970s Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure chemicals are safe before they get into our consumer products, the chemical industry is publicly focused on restoring your confidence; not so much, it seems, on improving chemical safety.
Listen carefully to these lines delivered recently to Congress by leaders in the chemical industry:
“Enhancing consumer confidence is P & G’s single most important objective for modernizing TSCA.” — Len Sauers, VP of Global Sustainability, Proctor & Gamble
“The American Chemistry Council (ACC) supports efforts to reform TSCA’s federal chemical regulatory system to give Americans greater confidence in the safety of chemicals. ” — Cal Dooley, President and CEO of American Chemistry Council
The devil is in the details, where analysis of the Chemicals in Commerce Act before a US House of Representatives committee gives the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition reason for concern. In the testimony by SCHF Director Andy Igrejas, he outlines these critical flaws that essentially make this proposed bill worse than the status quo:
• EPA will still be unable to impose risk management measures.
• The standard for risk evaluations is unclear, and the safety of pregnant women
and children is not assured.
• EPA authority over new chemicals is reduced, rather than improved.
• States rights to implement their own protections are unduly violated.
• Chemicals will be set aside without a full safety review.
• The public’s Right to Know about toxic chemicals is undermined.
In other words, as consumers, we’d still be on our own to determine whether a product is safe, plus the EPA would do even less than the little it can do to help us now, and our states would become powerless to help in these matters.
No wonder those in the know as public health and science leaders are saying Congress should scrap such flawed legislation.
So, the chemical industry wants to restore your confidence in what they’re selling. Are you buying it?