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Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

By Juliana Bilowich
Public Health Organizer

We are disappointed with the TSCA bill that was released by the House and Senate leaders and we urge Congress to reject the bill. When it comes to public health protections, the federal government should set a floor, not a ceiling. By unnecessarily preempting states’ efforts to regulate toxic chemicals, this bill does more harm than good.

Many states have been leading the fight against toxic substances and have been more effective in protecting their citizens from dangerous chemicals than the federal government. California and Washington have robust and comprehensive laws to protect citizens from a host of toxic chemicals. In Maryland, we have helped to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, while Illinois has banned products containing dangerous amounts of toxic flame retardants. State regulation of toxic substances not only protects citizens of one state from dangerous chemicals but often results in adoption by other states, forcing major companies to remove dangerous chemicals from their products.

Proponents of the negotiated bill argue that it would create a better framework for regulating chemicals than the current ineffective TSCA law. We agree that in some ways it would. But there is a reason why the chemical industry supports this bill. It handcuffs state regulators and takes 50 chemical cops off the beat. This proposal could best be characterized as one step forward and two steps back. We can do better, and we urge lawmakers to vote no. 

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