Statement by the Center for Environmental Health on the Chemical Safety Improvement Act

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) congratulates Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) on their bipartisan agreement demonstrating the need to protect the public from toxic chemicals by updating our outdated chemical regulatory system. Today the Senators unveiled the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, which for the first time in more than three decades would update U.S. protections against health threats from harmful chemicals. CEH welcomes this effort and looks forward to working with Congress to move forward a strong bill that protects those most vulnerable to toxic chemical health hazards.

For too long chemicals have been allowed on the market without determining whether they are safe. As CEH has repeatedly exposed, many of these chemicals in everyday products and in our air, food and water can cause cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive harm, and other diseases.

“We have a right to know what’s in our products and the right to safe products for our children and families and for workers who create those products,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Health. “But current law has failed and it is past time to bring it into the 21st Century. With seven Democratic and seven Republican cosponsors, today’s announcement demonstrates that the need to protect our health from toxic chemicals is greater than political partisanship.”

CEH supports reforms to federal chemical policy that will:

  •         Immediately Initiate Action on the Worst Chemicals: Persistent, bioaccumulative toxicants (PBTs) are uniquely hazardous
  •          Require Basic Information for All Chemicals
  •          Protect the Most Vulnerable
  •          Use the Best Science and Methods
  •          Hold Industry Responsible for Demonstrating Chemical Safety
  •          Ensure Environmental Justice
  •          Enhance Government Coordination, including maintaining the ability of the states to enact tougher chemical policies.
  •          Promote Safer Alternatives
  •          Ensure the Right to Know for the public, workers, and the marketplace.

The Center for Environmental Health has a sixteen-year track record of protecting children and families from harmful chemicals in our air, water, food and in dozens of every day products. CEH also works with major industries and leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products and practices. In 2010, the San Francisco Business Times bestowed its annual “Green Champion” award to CEH for its work to improve health and the environment in the Bay Area and beyond.