By Annie Sartor, Policy and Campaigns Coordinator
When was the last time our elected leaders spent six hours debating how to reform our broken chemical laws to protect public health? Last week, the Senate did just that, in a historic hearing about the future of chemical regulation reform.
We’re thrilled that the spotlight is on toxic chemicals that are making us sick – but our work is far from over. We must keep the pressure on our elected leaders for chemical regulation that will make a real difference for all of us.
Here’s what we want to see from a chemical regulation bill:
- Burden of Proof: the burden of proof for chemical safety must be placed squarely on the shoulders of industry to prove their products are safe, rather than on the EPA to prove they are toxic.
- Precautionary Principle: a strong chemical safety bill must require that products are proven safe before they enter the marketplace – rather than after they are already in our homes and our bodies.
- Expedited Action on the Worst Chemicals: existing chemical regulation requires unnecessary red tape before the EPA can phase out a chemical identified as dangerous. Instead of creating obstacles to protecting the public, strong chemical reform must allow for expedited action for the worst chemicals.
- Protection for Heavily Impacted Communities: central to any proposed chemical regulation must be a special focus on reducing toxic chemicals in “hot spot” communities heavily impacted by chemical exposures.
- Allowance for Stronger Laws: federal chemical regulation cannot over-ride state or regional laws protecting people from toxic chemicals.
- Establish Deadlines and Timetables: this should go without saying, but chemical regulation should have a realistic implementation schedule that requires compliance and gives the EPA the necessary incentives and resources to implement changes necessitated by the new law.
Congress is finally moving on chemical regulation reform, and we know that activists like you and me influence legislators. Now is the time to tell our Senators what strong chemical regulation looks like, before the Senate resumes in September. Take a minute to tell your Senators to support only the strongest regulation of the toxic chemicals that are poisoning us. If you’ve already taken action, click here to ask your friends to join you in demanding better regulations of toxic chemicals.
Thank you for taking a stand to help stop breast cancer before it starts.