WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of the first 10 chemicals that the agency will review for possible risks to public health and the environment, as required under Udall’s Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
Udall’s landmark, bipartisan bill, which was signed into law by President Obama in June, reforms the broken Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), ensuring that children and communities across the nation are protected from dangerous chemicals.
Udall’s bill was the first overhaul of the 1976 TSCA law, a badly broken system that rendered the EPA virtually powerless to regulate the safety of chemicals manufactured and used in commerce.
Under the initial TSCA law, tens of thousands of chemicals – including well-documented carcinogens – have been on the market for decades without meaningful regulation or safety evaluation. The EPA’s announcement today of the first 10 chemicals it will review complies with the new law’s requirement that the EPA release such a list by Dec. 19, 2016.
“I am encouraged by today’s news that the EPA has identified the first 10 chemicals for review under the new chemical safety reform law,” Udall said. “This is one of the first actions required under the reformed law, which was overwhelmingly supported in both houses of Congress and signed by the President in June of this year. It is welcome news that the EPA has listed 10 potentially dangerous chemicals that warrant greater scrutiny for the protection of public health. While there is ample evidence linking these chemicals to cancer and other severe health problems, they have been on the market largely unchecked and unregulated for decades. That’s unacceptable, and that is why we worked so tirelessly to reform our broken chemical safety law. Today’s action sends a powerful signal to consumers to limit their exposure to chemicals of concern, and to businesses to reduce their use and seek innovative, safer alternatives. Now, we must ensure a seamless transition into the new administration, so that this new chemical safety reform bill can continue to do its job to protect our children and families.”
The first 10 chemicals to be evaluated are:
Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD)
Methylene Chloride (MC)
Pigment Violet 29
Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene (perc)
The EPA must now complete risk evaluations for the 10 chemicals within three years, and if a chemical is determined to pose a public health or environmental risk, the EPA must take action to mitigate the risk within two years. In the near future, the EPA will designate additional chemicals for safety evaluation.