STATEMENT OF KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER, Executive Director and CEO of MomsRising.org, On the Chemical Safety Improvement Act
October 29, 2013
America’s Moms Call on Congress to Ensure the Chemical Safety Improvement Act Protects Families from Toxic Substances
“After decades of inaction, Congress is poised to consider the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), which would overhaul our system for regulating toxic substances. This is welcome news, but we want to be sure any new toxics legislation prioritizes the safety of families and communities, shielding them from the kinds of toxic hazards that are becoming ever more pervasive.
“Our nation desperately needs stronger laws regulating toxic chemicals. When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) went into effect in 1976, many of the chemicals currently in use didn’t even exist. In fact, under TSCA, only about 200 of the now more than 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States have been tested for safety.
“With so many unregulated chemicals around us – from flame retardants to bisphenol A (BPA) to phthalates - moms across the country are deeply concerned about what their families are being exposed to on a daily basis. These chemicals routinely put our families at risk for cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and worse. Our current, outdated system for policing these threats leaves us wholly unprotected. This is not the time for Congress to give up. We want them to take a lesson from a children’s book, and be ‘The Little Engine That Could’ by working to craft meaningful reform.
“MomsRising.org urges Congress to ensure that the CSIA establishes clear protections for children, pregnant women, and vulnerable communities heavily affected by pollution and toxic chemicals. The legislation must allow states to proceed with their own protective standards. It should require that chemicals are proven safe in order to remain in use. It must also empower the Environmental Protection Agency to take quick, decisive action on the worst chemicals, including bans and phase-outs if necessary. Finally, CSIA must establish timetables and deadlines for making quick and thoughtful improvements in safeguarding the public from proven hazards.
“Our families’ health and well-being hang in the balance. We call on Congress to persevere and pass meaningful legislation to improve the regulation of dangerous chemicals.”