After 40 Years, We’re Finally Seeing Change in Chemical Regulations

chemical regulations

After 40 years, we’re finally seeing a change in chemical regulations!

On June 7th, legislation was sent to the President for his signature on a law that will change chemical regulations.

For many years, health specialists and environmentalists have criticized the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for its many “gaps that leave Americans exposed to harmful chemicals.” Why? Because there are about 64,000 chemicals that have been infused in everyday products that don’t fall under environmental testing or regulation laws.

“Most Americans believe that when they buy a product at the hardware store or the grocery store, that product has been tested and determined to be safe. But that isn’t the case,” explains Senator Tom Udall, a supporter of the law.

Many of you reading this are aware that we are exposed to thousands of toxins found in toys, beauty products, furniture, clothes, and the list goes on. Some of these toxins are known carcinogens, but there are plenty of other chemicals that have not been tested, and thus “we don’t know the full extent of how they affect us,” says Udall.

The law will authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the safety of chemicals in  the market, and will give them control over chemical manufacturers, forcing them “to test their products for possible risks to human health and the environment“. At the moment, EPA has to report that a chemical can be harmful before they can ask the manufacturers to test how safe (or unsafe) it is.

One of the best parts of this whole phenomenon is that the the chemical industry themselves have recently joined forces with health specialists and environmentalists. They too wanted the government to update the outdated TCSA. You read that right, they want it to change as well. Winning!

“After four decades of living under a stagnant chemical safety law, I am so very glad to have passed a law that strengthens our country’s international competitiveness, provides desperately needed regulatory certainty for industry, and mandates that the federal government use better science and provide more transparency,” says Senator David Vitter.

This is a huge win for Beautycounter as well, as it only solidifies our case, purpose and mission. It’s a step in the right direction for a cleaner, healthier world for ourselves and our future generations.

(This story appeared in Chemical & Engineering News.)