Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Actress Jessica Alba joins Senator Lautenberg to Support TSCA Reform

Who knew Senator Frank Lautenberg could attract Hollywood actresses to support chemical law reform.  But this week that is exactly what the 87 year old New Jersey Senator did on May 24th, 2011.  He even posted a Twitter photo to prove it

Jessica Alba joined Lautenberg to support his Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, the newest version of his many attempts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Alba said that she was supporting TSCA reform because she is pregnant and is concerned about products intended to be used by young children that may contain chemicals not adequately tested.  She also is a spokesperson for the NGO coalition, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Alba's support will change the reality of the current stalemate in Congress.  While in Lautenberg's Senate the Democrats still hold a tiny majority, the House is now under the control of the Republican party, who show no inclination to take any regulatory overhaul other than cutting programs and budgets for agencies such as EPA that are charged with "protecting human health and the environment."  This despite industry assertions that they believe TSCA is in need of reform, aka, modernization.  Needless to say the NGOs believe TSCA reform is needed an have already deemed Lautenberg's newest iteration of the bill to have given in to industry concerns (too much in their opinion).

So it seems all parties say they want TSCA reform, but then don't seem inclined to actually act upon it.

According to Lautenberg:

“Under current policy, EPA can only call for safety testing after evidence surfaces demonstrating a chemical is dangerous. As a result, EPA has been able to require testing for just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently registered in the United States, and has been able to ban only five dangerous substances.”

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