So the EPA is gearing up to try to regulate chemicals, establishing a list of “chemicals of concern” that echoes a similar list developed by regulators in the European Union under a recent law requiring that chemicals be tested for safety before being sold. Congress has begun to debate how to support this effort. It should begin by reforming and strengthening the Toxic Substances Control Act to require reviews of chemicals for safety, force manufacturers to provide adequate health data on any chemical under review, and empower agencies to restrict or ban the use of chemicals with clear evidence of harm. Industry groups such as the American Chemistry Council have recognized that such measures are needed to ensure public confidence in their products. Ultimately, the goal of oversight is simply to reflect the best available science, so that people are protected from the demonstrable risks posed by chemicals such as BPA and can rest assured that the chemicals industry says are safe really are.
This article was originally published with the title Chemical Controls.