The US Senate made safer chemicals a priority today as Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) jointly introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill to overhaul the outdated federal chemical regulatory system. They are joined by 7 Democrat Senators and 7 Republican Senators as the bill's co-sponsors.
"We are pleased today to see movement in the U.S. Senate toward joining the states in taking action to protect public health from harmful chemicals," says Sarah Doll, National Director of Safer States.
"States have been leading the way for over a decade, adopting over 100 groundbreaking policies to protect their citizens from toxic chemicals. We look forward to a final federal policy that continues the work of the states, while preserving states' ability to continue driving innovative solutions."
"Cracking down on harmful chemicals has strong public support across the political spectrum and you see that reflected in this group of Senators. We congratulate them on their work together. Substantively, we are still evaluating the details," says Andy Igrejas, the executive director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
It is encouraging to see US Senators recognizing that toxic chemical safety is not a partisan issueit's a human one. The bipartisan support of the Chemicals Safety Improvement Act is remarkable, and it follows a precedent first set in the states. The majority of toxic chemicals laws passed in the states have passed with healthy bipartisan support.
State laws already on the books include requiring product makers to disclose toxic chemicals in their products, banning harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A and toxic flame retardants in consumer products, and identifying safer chemicals and processes for use in manufacturing. This year alone, at least 29 states are considering additional laws regulating toxic chemicals.
While the details of the bill are still emerging, we are encouraged by this step forward. We will continue to work with Senators Lautenberg and Vitter and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition to ensure states continue to be able to protect their citizens from harmful chemicals.
And, while the fight is still being fought on the federal level, the states will continue their battles. If you would like to know what toxics bills the states are currently working on, check out our bill tracker.
We'll continue to keep you apprised of news about the Chemical Safety Improvement Act.