Friday, July 30, 2010

From the Inbox: Urge your representative to co-sponsor the national Toxic Chemical Safety Act

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July 27, 2010 Urge your representative to co-sponsor the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act
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The Toxic Substances Control Act, the law regulating the use of industrial chemicals, was enacted in 1976 and is in serious need of an overhaul. Although other laws require pharmaceuticals and pesticides to undergo safety testing before they are available for purchase, the Toxic Substances Control Act has allowed thousands of industrial chemicals -- used in children's products, cleaning products, toys, furniture and electronics, and as oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico -- to reach consumers without that same precaution.

Rather than requiring chemical manufacturers to prove the safety of their products before putting them on the market, the Toxic Substances Control Act compels the Environmental Protection Agency to prove that a chemical is unreasonably dangerous before its use can be restricted or prevented. To make matters worse, the law drastically limits the EPA's ability to obtain information from companies about the potential environmental and health effects of the chemicals they produce.

In April, Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the Safe Chemicals Act to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. Now Rep. Waxman (D-CA) has introduced a House companion to that bill, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act, moving us one step closer to passing these much needed reforms into law.

Like its Senate companion, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act would strengthen the current law by shifting the burden back to the chemical industry to prove its products are safe, establishing health standards for chemicals to protect children and other vulnerable groups, and strengthening the public's right to know about the safety and use of chemicals.

What to do

Send a message urging your representative to co-sponsor the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act (H.R. 5820).

Take Action Now

President announces new national oceans policy
For the last year, you have sent tens of thousands of comments urging the Obama administration to establish the nation's first-ever comprehensive policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. And we are thrilled to report that on July 19th President Obama signed an executive order to do exactly that! Just as we have a Clean Water Act for our water and a Clean Air Act for our air, we now have a national policy for our oceans that will help better protect, maintain and restore ocean ecosystems. Our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes are valuable economic engines providing jobs, food, energy resources, recreation and tourism, and the administration's ground-breaking action will help ensure that our oceans are better managed to meet the needs of present and future generations.  

Thanks to everyone who took action, and congratulations on this remarkable victory!

You can read the full executive order at the White House website.

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