Friday, June 11, 2010

So how is TSCA related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak?

Apparently the NGO coalition called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is planning to continue its very high profile, very high activity advocacy for TSCA reform. Last week they held a webinar on TSCA reform and yesterday they did a conference call with the press to "announce a proposal and to help reporters make the connection between Corexit, the worrisome chemical dispersant being used to clean up the Gulf oil spill, and our nation’s failing system for regulating such chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control act of 1976 (TSCA)."

SCHF claims that "[w]hat’s going on in the Gulf is not an isolated incident — it’s a very dramatic, very public example of our nation’s broken system for managing chemicals." They go on to say

In their attempt to reassure Americans that Corexit was no more dangerous than common household products, chemical manufacturer Nalco unwittingly highlighted the fact that, because our laws are so weak, it’s entirely possible that our household products are quite dangerous! The reality is, our laws don’t require companies to show household products are safe before they arrive under our kitchen sinks, any more than they have to prove chemical dispersants are safe before they get dumped into our oceans. Hardly reassuring.

The group released a comparison chart showing the provisions of TSCA as it currently stands and how the Senate and House bills could "fix the problem." They go further and recommend what they believe are necessary additions to the current Safe Chemical Act proposals that would have required dispersants to demonstrate safety BEFORE being used in emergency situations like the Deepwater Horizon disaster (indicated in red in the chart).

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