Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Vinyl Chloride

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 vinyl chloride, used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that appears in everything from wall and floor coverings to children’s toys to cars. Vinyl chloride, a chemical known to cause cancer, poisons the air breathed by workers and people living in contaminated communities. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals.

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