U.S. Senator calls on Congress to pass Safe Chemicals Act, replacing Toxic Substances Control Act to place burden on industry to prove chemical safety

WASHINGTON , May 22, 2012 (press release) – U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today joined hundreds of concerned mothers from across the country who are calling on Congress to pass his “Safe Chemicals Act.” This legislation would protect Americans from dangerous toxic chemicals that are found in everyday consumer products. Mothers from 30 states and the District of Columbia, many joined by their children, formed a "Stroller Brigade" to deliver 125,000 petition signatures to their Senators in support of the Safe Chemicals Act.

“It’s shocking that toxic chemicals end up in everyday consumer products, and in our bodies, without anyone proving that they are safe,” Lautenberg said. “The stroller brigade is carrying an important message to Congress that we're not going to stand by and let our kids continue to be exposed to chemicals that make them sick. Concerned moms are the best weapons we have in this fight. With their help, I will keep advancing the Safe Chemicals Act to reform our broken toxic chemical laws and provide a healthier future for our families.”

Lautenberg, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” to modernize the “Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976” (TSCA). The bill gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the tools it needs to require health and safety testing of toxic chemicals and places the burden on industry to prove that chemicals are safe. Under current law, the EPA can only call for safety testing after evidence surfaces demonstrating a chemical is dangerous. As a result, EPA has been able to require testing for just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently registered in the United States, and has been able to ban only five dangerous substances. The new legislation will give EPA more power to regulate the use of dangerous chemicals and require manufacturers to submit information proving the safety of every chemical in production and any new chemical seeking to enter the market.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, as well as Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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