In the United States, toxic chemicals are regulated using the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, an outdated and inefficient law that leaves many Americans exposed to dangerous substances every day. Almost 80,000 chemicals exist in the United States, but few receive the scrutiny they deserve before being placed on the market. The current law requires the Environmental Protection Agency to prove that a chemical is unsafe or dangerous for it to be taken off the market. It doesn’t require manufacturers to prove its safety before it becomes available. How crazy is that?
Keep toxic chemicals out of your homes and bodies. Photo By skycaptaintwo/Courtesy Flickr.
Last month Congressmen Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) and Henry Waxman (D-California) introduced a bill that would overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act and offer Americans greater health protection. The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 would force chemical manufacturers to prove their products are safe and would more strictly regulate dangerous chemicals.
Years of neglect have meant that chemicals with known links to cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, reproductive disorders and other health problems have been allowed to enter our homes—and our bodies. Don’t wait for the government to protect you. You can take steps in your own home to keep the worst of them at bay.