Last year both the House and Senate introduced "Safe Chemical" bills in an attempt to modernize the 34-year old Toxic Substances Control Act. While on the House side there were several stakeholder meetings held to get input so that the bills could be fine-tuned, no substantive action occurred in committee in an effort to get votes on the bills. Which means they must be reintroduced in this new Congress. With the Republicans gaining control in the House and narrowing the gap in the Senate, along with the continuing lagging (though improving) economy, it is unclear whether any federal level TSCA reform can get passed this year or next.
With that in mind NGOs are shifting their efforts to encouraging state level action. According to the NGO's press release:
"The American public is demanding new chemical safety laws, and state elected officials – both Republicans and Democrats – are responding," said Andy Igrejas, Campaign Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. "At some point Congress will wake up and realize it is better for industry and public safety to make these changes at the federal level, as well."
Planned legislation includes comprehensive state laws in nine states, phase outs of the plasticizer BPA in at least 17 states, calls for federal action in at least 11 states, bans of cadmium in childrens products, and exposure reductions in at least three states to a brominated flame retardant. More information is available on the SCHF web site.
Note: US state graphic from SCHF.