ACC welcomes calls for renewed action on the bipartisan CSIA

Moms today are some of the smartest, most educated consumers around. They have to be. With so much misguided advice swirling around about which products to buy and which ones to avoid, moms don’t know who to trust anymore. Yet, more than anyone, they deserve to have confidence that the products they buy and use in their homes are safe for their families.

It’s clear that parents, consumers and manufacturers are ready to take a huge step toward re-building that confidence by reforming our country’s decades-old chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In its place, we need a federal system that gives the EPA the authority it needs to take action to protect children, families and the environment from exposure to potentially toxic chemicals.

What some concerned parents may not realize, however, is that Congress has a bipartisan, comprehensive and sensible solution already on the table. It’s called the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), and it is our best opportunity to date to finally pass meaningful TSCA reform legislation and bring our nation’s chemical laws up to date with the 21st century.

It’s important that moms know that protecting sensitive groups, especially pregnant women, infants, and children, is a core part of the proposed CSIA. What the CSIA also accomplishes that no other bill has been able to in the past is protection for all Americans as well as built-in support for innovation, economic growth, and job creation by manufacturers. These aren’t mutually exclusive – and in fact, they are twin priorities that all Americans can get behind.

Just take a look at the headlines and comments, and you’ll see some of the many reasons the CISA has received widespread support from organized labor, businesses of all sizes, environmental groups and former EPA officials from both Bush and Clinton administrations. Chief among them:

  • The CSIA will require that, for the first time, all chemicals in use today be evaluated for safety by EPA. Many have already undergone review and approval by EPA but some chemicals that were on the market before TSCA was passed in 1976 haven’t received a systematic evaluation;
  • It will require EPA to focus first on chemicals where there is the greatest need.  This will ensure that the public and regulators have important answers about chemicals with the greatest potential to affect health or the environment, sooner;
  • It will make it easier for the EPA to require manufacturers to conduct additional testing on their chemicals;
  • It will require that EPA make more information about chemicals available to the public.

There’s a lot of misinformation flying around about the CSIA. Frankly, some of it is being circulated by groups that will benefit in some way from a continued stalemate. But we shouldn’t let inertia and small concerns, which can be resolved if there is a true commitment to reform, get in the way of a very big step forward toward enhancing the safety of all Americans.

We’re glad to see others continuing to call for reform and acknowledging that the CSIA is the best chance to achieve it. Hopefully, these calls will help shake the bill loose from the logjam in the Senate and get meaningful chemical reform moving through Congress — and straight to the President’s desk.

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