Nation’s Chemical Safeguards Law is in Dire Need of Reform

NRDC expert testifies: “We are exposed to thousands of chemicals” daily

WASHINGTON (February 4, 2014) – The country's law designed to protect the public from the thousands of synthetic chemicals in our environment is so inadequate and outdated that it needs a major overhaul, a public health scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told a congressional panel today.

“The truth is that we are routinely exposed to hundreds, even thousands of chemicals in our daily lives – even before we are born – in an infinite number of combinations and mixtures – and for most chemicals we do not have the information necessary to know whether or not those chemicals are safe,” Jennifer Sass testified. A chief reason is the shortcomings and loopholes in the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act.

The lack of information about potentially dangerous chemicals in our land, air and water, as well as in consumer products, was most recently underscored in January, when a little-known chemical used in coal processing spilled into the Elk River, contaminating the drinking water supply for more than 300,000 West Virginians.

Sass testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, which held a hearing titled “Testing of Chemicals and Reporting and Retention of Information under TCSA Sections 4 and 8.” Congress is considering ways to update and improve the law.

For her full testimony, click here: