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Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Hexavalent Chromium
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as hexavalent chromium (hex chrome), which is used in industries such as metal processing, tanneries, and stainless steel welding where workers are exposed to contaminated air. A legacy pollutant, cancer-causing hex chrome can also contaminate soil and water supplies for decades. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals.