GAO Recommends TSCA Improvements, and a Senate Bill Responds with a Proposal
In June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report critical of the
federal government’s ability under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to assess and
prevent risks from new and existing chemical substances. Entitled Chemical Regulation:
Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review
Program,1 the report is not the first (or likely the last) word from GAO on what it believes to be
TSCA’s inherent inability to identify and address risks posed by chemical substances.
Release of the GAO report coincided with the introduction by Senators Frank Lautenberg and James Jeffords of the Kid Safe Chemicals Act (S. 1391), a bill intended to improve children’s health by reducing exposure to harmful toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products and otherwise address the deficiencies in TSCA outlined in the report.