By Sahru Keiser, Program Manager
We wrote to you last month to demand Congress fix our broken federal chemical regulations. We now know that new legislation could be on the President’s desk by the end of next week! We need you again to make sure legislators do not pass a bill which could take us backward on toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer and other health problems.
The process of updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been secretive and left advocates in the dark. Many of the current updates will not create strong chemical reform. One of the biggest problems is a provision that could block a state’s ability to protect their residents from toxic chemicals—even when federal action is years away.
This provision, called the “pause” provision, would stop the ability of states to create and implement laws around a toxic chemical as soon as that chemical went under review by the federal government. This review could take up to four years! During that time, whatever population the state was planning to protect, including vulnerable communities, will instead continue to be exposed. We know that state laws have successfully led the way in restricting toxic chemicals, like those linked to increased breast cancer risk.