Sunday, April 18, 2010

Safe Chemicals Act

Finally, there's been a bill introduced to congress, called the Safe Chemicals Act, to better regulate the chemicals we all are exposed to in day to day products.

The current law (from 1976) is ancient, and assumes any chemical is safe until proven otherwise -- innocent until proven guilty -- a dangerously lax approach which has resulted in the potentially dangerous chemicals we all have heard about, such as bisphenol A in certain plastics, brominated flame retardents, numerous phthalates released by vinyl (this causes that awful new shower curtain smell), etc.

There are 80,000 chemicals in use today and the EPA has only required testing for 200 of them. There are surely additional dangerous chemicals lurking, undetected.

Refreshingly, the new bill takes the opposite approach, the same I approach I take with my family: a chemical is guilty until proven innocent! This is why I use no pesticides on my life support grass.

If this bill becomes law, manufacturers must prove a chemical is safe before they can use it in their products. The burden of proof moves to the manufacturers. Here's a good writeup of the bill.

Lobbyists will undoubtedly fight this bill tooth and nail... so we need to push our congressional representatives!! You can use this site to do so.