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 methylene chloride, used in many industrial and consumer applications—including as an extraction solvent for caffeine, spices, and hops, and in products such as wood floor cleaners, water repellents, and spray shoe polish. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals.
Related IssuesHuman HealthToxics