Groups Join Voices Against Industry Chemicals Bill

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Groups Join Voices Against Industry Chemicals Bill

WASHINGTON - A growing chorus is speaking out against legislation to update federal chemical safety law that was introduced last week by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter, R-La.  The industry-backed bill would retain the existing weak safety standard for toxic chemicals and limit the ability of states to enact and enforce their own rules to protect public health.

Environmental Working Group characterized the bill as being “worse than the existing Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA – a law so broken that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been powerless even to ban asbestos.”

Dozens of other organizations, companies and well-known health advocates and consumer activists have also denounced the Udall-Vitter bill.

Here is what they are saying:

Erin Brockovich, consumer advocate, told The Hill newspaper:

If we take away states’ rights and dump this back on the EPA, which is already overburdened, understaffed and without state funds, to me that’s insanity...

Linda Reinstein, president and co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization:

The fact that the Udall-Vitter bill will not even restrict, much less ban, the deadly substance that claims 30 lives a day is nothing short of a national travesty...

Daniel Rosenberg, Senior Attorney in the Health Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:

The proposal still contains rollbacks and loopholes that make it worse than current law. For example, a lax Environmental Protection Agency could use the bill to give a green light to deregulate hundreds of controversial chemicals with minimal review...

Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families:

In its current form it would not make a big dent in the problem of toxic chemical exposure and would even do some harm by restraining state governments...

Nancy Buermeyer, senior policy strategist at the Breast Cancer Fund:

Congress negotiated with our health and the American public lost out to chemical industry profits...

Michael Green, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Health, said:

We are terribly disappointed that this long-awaited proposal still retains provisions that put children and families at risk...

Shaney Jo Darden, Founder of Keep a Breast Foundation, said:

We need to demand a shift in focus from the welfare of industry to the welfare of humans…

Sahru Keiser, program manager at Breast Cancer Action:

The burden of proof still lies with us (and regulatory agencies) to prove chemicals are harmful, rather than requiring corporations to prove chemicals are safe…

Catherine Thomasson MD, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility said:

It’s time to put health first. The public wants their children protected from dangerous chemicals. The Udall-Vitter bill is still a step backwards…

Click here to see a full list of statements from leading groups and individuals who advocate real TSCA reform, not the industry’s bill.

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The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.

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