What is the Safe Chemical Act of 2010?

The EPA has struggled for over 30 years with the restrictions placed upon it by TSCA. For example, it took the EPA over 10 years and tens of millions of dollars to attempt to ban the known carcinogenic substance, Asbestos.

Therefore, the EPA has only tested about 200 of the 80,000 chemicals in its inventory. TSCA has only allowed the EPA to regulate and limit the use of 5 chemicals since its inception, 35 years ago. In just one year, the EU has started to limit the use of 37 chemicals and expects to expand that list to 135 by 2011.

This despite the fact that 286 chemicals have been found in the cord blood of newborns. Currently many MSDS sheets don’t even list known carcinogens, so we don’t even know our exposure risks in the workplace or the home.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 provides the solution by giving the EPA tools to protect the public from new and old pathways of exposure to toxic chemicals.

Briefly the 6 Key Mandates of the bill are:

  1. Ensures that the EPA will have the necessary information on hazardous chemicals
  2. Requires the EPA to prioritize on hazard levels and exposure characteristics
  3. Ensures expedited action is taken on high risk chemicals
  4. Requires chemicals be shown as safe to enter or remain on the market
  5. Ensures reliable access to chemical information
  6. Promotes the development and use of Green Chemistry

So, how will the Safe Chemical Act Affect your organization?

For Manufacturers:

  • Deeper and broader chemical analysis and testing of all chemical products
  • New government chemical registration process
  • Rapid government bans/restrictions on chemical products
  • The need to reformulate existing products due to bans/restrictions
  • Expanded MSDS and other compliance documents

For Employers:

  • Expanded MSDS and labeling
  • Additional Hazardous Materials training requirements
  • Rapid government bans/restrictions on chemical products
  • Finding new chemical sources due to bans/restrictions

Although this act is still pending in Congress, don’t stick your head in the sand. Similar and even more comprehensive laws are being enacted all over the world. Consumers around the world are demanding it and it is not just going to go away.

Plan now to not be surprised in the future.

 

Current Issues

Glenn will present US Chemicals update to ESIG on June 22