I have an important update and action for you regarding our years-long effort together to regulate toxic chemicals in everyday products.
A watered-down, ineffective, inadequate bill was recently introduced in the US Senate and we’re mobilizing with our partners to prevent this version of the bill from passing.
The Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) not only lacks key requirements to protect people and our planet from toxic chemicals, but if implemented as written, could actually weaken the few strong toxic chemical regulations that currently exist.
We have worked too hard to let the CSIA move forward as it is currently written. This bill, because of its bi-partisan support, has effectively superseded the Safe Chemicals Act, which we have enthusiastically supported in the past, but unlike the Safe Chemicals Act, the CSIA is NOT the strong legislation we need to protect our health and stop breast cancer before it starts.
Here are our main concerns about the Chemical Safety Improvement Act:
- Burden of Proof: the CSIA places the burden of proof for chemical safety on government regulators by tasking the EPA with proving that a chemical is toxic, instead of tasking industry with proving a chemical is safe. This maintains a system that does NOT work for our health.
- Precautionary Principle: the CSIA ensures that the status quo of assuming chemicals are innocent until proven guilty is maintained, which is unacceptable to us. A strong chemical safety bill should require that products are proven safe before they enter the marketplace – not after they are already in our homes and our bodies.
- Protection for Heavily Impacted Communities: the CSIA does not include any special focus for communities heavily impacted by chemical exposures. We need provisions to reduce toxic chemicals in “hot spot” communities and this should be central to any proposed chemical regulation.
- Preemption of Current Laws: the CSIA would give the EPA authority to preempt state or municipal efforts to regulate toxic chemicals – essentially weakening strong state and local regulations of toxins, significantly reducing protections for people living in cities or states that have prioritized minimizing chemical exposures. This provision means that the CSIA could actually leave many people with weaker chemical regulations than currently exist – and must be removed from the bill.
We need you to take action today and tell your Senators that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act is unacceptable as written – and demand much stronger legislation to protect all of us from toxic chemicals.
We know that activists can influence legislators, and now is the time for all of us who have worked for years to protect people and planet from toxic chemicals to ensure that our concerns are addressed and that this bill is amended to truly fulfill its objective of chemical safety. Please take action today!