Compliance Advisor: New bill targets chemicals

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

As an influx of Democrats is expected in the new Congress, it surprises no one that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) recently introduced a bill that would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by adding a new Title V to reduce the exposure of children, workers, and consumers to “toxic chemical substances.” U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) introduced the same legislation, H.R. 6100, in the House of Representatives. The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bills would establish a national goal of by 2020 eliminating the exposure of all children, workers, consumers and sensitive subgroups to harmful chemicals distributed in commerce. If enacted, the bills could dramatically impact chemical manufacturing and processing.

Setting a safety standard
Under Section 501, a safety standard would be established that “provides a reasonable certainty that no harm” will be caused by aggregate exposure of a fetus, infant, child, worker or member of other sensitive subgroup to a chemical. In the case of a fetus, infant or child, the standard would account for their potential vulnerability by applying an additional 10-fold safety factor.

Section 502 would require manufacturers of any chemical substance distributed in commerce to certify that the substance meets the safety standard or that insufficient data exist to determine whether the chemical meets the standard; and submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all reasonably available information on the substance’s physical, chemical and toxicological properties that hasn’t previously been submitted to EPA. Manufacturers would have an ongoing obligation to update the information.

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