Silent Killers: How a New Bill Could Finally Lead to Less Carcinogenic Chemical in American Products

April 15, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

Everyday, we are unknowingly subjected to toxic chemicals that are present in ordinary household products that place us at risk for cancer. Whether it’s the plastic container of your T.V dinner or the furniture cleaner you polish your coffee table with, we are constantly exposed to substances that could eventually lead to fatal diseases. Although we, as consumers, don’t know which products may or may not contain carcinogenic substances, it is possible for the government to patrol these products and identify chemicals that are harmful to our health. You would think that safety testing wouldn’t even be a question, but under the current Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the federal government is unable to require such vital measures.

This is exactly why U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) resubmitted the “Safe Chemicals Act” (SCA) last week.  The SCA would reform the TSCA by providing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to collect health and safety information, screen chemicals for safety and require safety management when chemicals cannot be proven safe. 

Under the current version of TSCA, EPA can only ask for testing once clear evidence has surfaced demonstrating a chemical as dangerous. Since the law was passed in 1976, the EPA has only been able to ban fiver dangerous chemicals and has only tested 200 out of more than 84,000 chemicals that are used in the U.S. The inefficiency of TSCA as it exists today led the Government Accountability Office to label the law as “high risk” in 2009.

If the SCA is passed and TSCA is reformed, manufacturers using dangerous chemicals could be forced to use safe chemical alternatives in the products. This could lead to finally placing a ban on known carcinogens such as asbestos and promote to a safer and healthier public.

“The Safe Chemicals Act is long over due and I hope Congress recognizes that the people’s health depends on it,” said Russell Budd, co-founder and managing shareholder of Baron and Budd. “To allow chemicals to be used that we know are harmful to people’s health is a travesty.  Congress can certainly do better and I hope they will.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found over 212 industrial chemicals present in American’s bodies including six known carcinogens and dozens of others known to cause cancer, birth defects and other diseases. These chemicals can easily be found in such items as non-stick cookware, detergents, cleaners, electronics, children’s products and more. It is vital that Congress pass the SCA so that these inexcusable health risks are removed from the lives of the American Public. 

For over 35 years, the mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd has been working on behalf of people who were unknowingly exposed to deadly carcinogens such as asbestos. The firm is a fervent supporter of a national ban on asbestos and believes the passage of this bill is crucial to the livelihood of the American people. 

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