August 6, 2012

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On July 25, 2012, the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works approved S. 847, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, which, if passed, would revamp the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) by requiring chemical companies to provide more health and safety information about their products and empowering regulators to force dangerous products from the market.  Specifically, the bill would shift the burden to manufacturers to demonstrate that their chemicals pose a “reasonable certainty of no harm” before the products can enter or remain on the market, instead of requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to demonstrate that chemicals are unsafe prior to restricting their manufacture, processing, distribution, use or disposal, as is currently the case under TSCA.  The proposed legislation will now move to the Senate floor, but some political analysts question whether there is sufficient bipartisan support to pass the legislation.