Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 - Overview

The Safe Chemicals Act has been introduced by Senator Lautenberg, chair of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health, which would amend the existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Some of the key provisions of the proposed law include:
  • Requires manufacturers to develop and submit a minimum data set for each chemical they produce, and provides EPA with authority to require any data beyond the minimum data set needed to determine safety of a chemical.
  • Requires EPA to categorize and prioritize chemicals, based on their hazard and exposure characteristics. EPA would identify and prioritize chemicals by their likely risk, based on anticipated use, production volume, toxicity, persistence, bioaccumulation, and other properties that indicate risk.
  • Requires expedited action to reduce the use of or exposures to chemicals of highest concern.
  • Requiring all chemicals to be shown to be safe in order to remain in or enter commerce, with the burden of proof safety resting on chemical manufacturers and users.
  • Establishes a public database that will house both chemical information submitted to EPA and decisions made by EPA about chemicals, and narrows the conditions under which data submitted by industry can be claimed to be confidential business information (CBI).
  • Requires EPA to establish a program to develop market and other incentives for safer alternatives, and a research grant program targeted at priority hazardous chemicals for which alternatives do not presently exist.

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