Toxic chemical rules are on Brown's agenda
As Congress struggles to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, California in the next few months is expected to issue comprehensive rules curbing chemicals in consumer products such as toys, cosmetics and plastics.
Under current law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required testing on just 200 of the nearly 80,000 existing chemicals, and restricted only five.Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families - a coalition of nearly 300 health groups - is urging federal restrictions on substances already known to be dangerous, including persistent and bio-accumulative chemicals. It wants the government to require that industry provide health and safety information for all chemicals in order for them to enter or remain on the market. And it wants a guarantee that peer-reviewed science - including the latest recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences - is used to assess risks.
Chemicals are more strictly regulated in Europe than in the U.S. and many international companies have changed their products to conform to European Union rules. But the chemical industry is mounting ferocious opposition to stricter regulation in the U.S.