Why We NEED the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

Tags: Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, toxic chemicals

Safe Chemicals Act 2011

If you thought the government was keeping us safe from toxic chemicals, you were WRONG. 

Imagine what our country would be like if Upton Sinclair had never written The Jungle, and the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 had never been passed. Think about how you’d feel if companies could still put anything they wanted to in your food and medicine. How would you feel putting food into your body, and the bodies of your children, knowing that its producers didn’t have to do anything to show that it was safe? I, for one, am really quite thankful that our federal government oversees the food and drug industries.

Now imagine what our country would be like if the only legislation we had to protect us from toxic chemicals in consumer products was the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), passed over 35 years ago. Think about how you’d feel if companies could still put basically any chemical on the market. How would you feel using common household products, and letting your children be exposed to them, knowing that they had never been proven safe? Well, you don’t have to imagine. This is the country we live in today. If you thought the government was keeping us safe from toxic chemicals, you were WRONG.

Eighty-thousand chemicals have entered the market since TSCA was passed in 1976, and of those, a mere 200 have been tested – and we’re not counting the tens of thousands of chemicals that were grandfathered in. Of all these, only 5 have been partially restricted. (Think about how many chemicals you would not want to use around your kids). TSCA simply does not require chemicals to be proven safe before they enter the products that we buy.

Scary, right? But we can find hope in the Safe Chemicals Act, proposed in 2011 in order to protect us and our families from toxic chemicals. The Safe Chemicals Act would improve the safety of chemicals in the products we use, and increase public information on chemical safety, by requiring that the chemical industry provide information on the health and environmental safety of their chemicals in order for them to enter, and remain on, the market. It would help protect those most vulnerable to toxic chemicals (children, pregnant women, sick, low-income, etc.), and encourage the production of new, safer chemicals. We could actually know what chemicals we are using, and what their effects are. We could feel safe.

But for these things to happen, we need to tell our Senators to pass the Safe Chemicals Act.

If you:

  • believe that our government should be taking the utmost precaution in regulating the chemicals and everyday products that we use
  • believe that we have the right to know the effects of products on our health and our environment
  • envision a chemicals industry that seeks to protect our health and give us a better quality of life
  • (are shocked/appalled that our government hasn’t already been regulating these things)

TAKE ACTION! It’s up to you to push our leaders to protect us from toxic chemicals. The chemical industry won’t do it, and the EPA is sluggish, to say the least. The petition, and the safety of our health and environment, is in YOUR hands.

Read more about the failures of TSCA and the solution in the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

Blog written by: Annika Doner, Michigan LCV Toxics Education and Outreach Intern