Profile image
By Center for Effective Government (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Interactive Maps and New Report Show State Chemical Safety Policies at Risk from Proposed Federal Legislation

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 17:01
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

-For Immediate Release-
March 18, 2015

Contact: Brian Gumm, 202-683-4812, [email protected]

Interactive Maps and New Report Show State Chemical Safety Policies at Risk from Proposed Federal Legislation

Toxic Substances Control Act Reform Supported by the Chemical Industry Overrides Authority of States to Establish and Enforce Public Health and Safety Protections

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2015—Two competing bills designed to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act were introduced last week. A new report and interactive maps from the Center for Effective Government unpack the impacts of the two bills. Reducing Our Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Stronger State Health Protections at Risk in Efforts to Reform Federal Chemical Law discusses the failures of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and the starkly different Senate bills that attempt to fix them.

The bill introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) would enable EPA to more quickly assess toxic chemicals and would require the agency to use a stronger safety standard to determine whether use of a chemical should be restricted. The legislation would also preserve the ability of states to go above and beyond federal minimum standards. In contrast, a bill from Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) would make some improvements, including eliminating troublesome cost considerations in determining chemical safety, but it would prevent states from passing and enforcing stronger standards.

“Of the more than 20,000 new chemicals that have been registered for commercial use since the Toxic Substances Control Act passed in 1976, EPA has required testing to assess the risks of only about 250 of them and, thanks to litigation from chemical manufacturers, has banned or restricted just nine chemicals in almost 40 years,” said Katherine McFate, President and CEO of the Center for Effective Government. “The public interest community and champions in Congress have been calling for more restrictions on toxic chemicals for years. With a growing body of research documenting the devastating health impacts of chemical exposure, especially on infants and children, the urgency to improve our safety standards is increasing.”

With chemical company lobbyists blocking efforts to establish stronger federal standards, states have taken the lead. For example, California requires manufacturers to put warning labels on products containing 700 cancer-causing chemicals and has developed a comprehensive program to address toxic chemicals in consumer products. In all, 38 states have passed more than 250 policies that address toxic chemicals. In addition to California, Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State have established comprehensive chemical policies that identify toxic chemicals in consumer products and require companies to use safer alternative chemicals when possible. Dozens of other states have banned or restricted individual toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, and flame retardants. Nearly 75 more protective policies are pending in 20 states, many of which would be at risk under the Udall-Vitter legislation. The industry-friendly bill would undermine future efforts to safeguard state and local residents from toxic chemicals. See our interactive map at

“State and local governments have led the way in protecting children and vulnerable groups from dangerous chemicals,” said Ronald White, Director of Regulatory Policy at the Center and a co-author of the report. “We need to ensure that states can continue to innovate as part of any effort to improve federal law.”

The Center for Effective Government strongly urges Congress to adopt a revised Toxic Substances Control Act that:

  • Strengthens federal law but preserves the right of state and local governments to regulate chemicals of concern with policies that meet or exceed federal minimums;
  • Enables governments at all levels to identify and prioritize chemicals of concern and establishes their authority to address the most problematic chemicals;
  • Requires the chemical industry to provide regulatory agencies with the information they need to determine whether a chemical is safe; and
  • Requires manufacturers to report health and exposure information about the chemicals they use to regulators, businesses, and the public.

Reducing Our Exposure to Toxic Chemicals is available online at, along with interactive maps of existing and proposed state chemical policies that could be at risk, which are available at

# # #

The Center for Effective Government is dedicated to advancing a government that protects people and the environment and encourages an engaged, informed citizenry. Find the Center for Effective Government on Facebook and Twitter.


Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.