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Statement from Andy Igrejas on Business-NGO Forum

National Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition on Forum about Safer Chemicals Policy Reform held on June 3, 2010 in Washington, DC

We applaud the companies that use chemicals for deeply engaging in a day-long policy dialog about how to fix our broken federal chemical safety system. These “downstream” businesses stand to benefit greatly from new legislation to overhaul the federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA).

Downstream companies are on the front lines of innovation in meeting consumer demand for safer products, cleaner materials and non-toxic chemicals. This forum represents a first step to recognize the needs of downstream chemical users, which demand special consideration distinct from the vested interests of companies that manufacture chemicals.

Chemicals policy reform will strongly reward companies that innovate in their pursuit of safer chemicals and cleaner products by meeting several needs of downstream businesses that use chemicals, including:

  • Helping downstream users avoid dangerous chemicals and switch to safer alternatives by requiring chemical producers for the first time to provide data on the health and safety of all chemicals in commerce within 5 years;
  • Leveling the playing field for innovative downstream users of safer chemicals by requiring expedited action by US EPA to restrict many uses of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs) and other high hazard chemicals;
  • Ensuring expedited review and entry onto the market of new chemicals that are shown to be safer alternatives to specific uses of existing toxic chemicals; and
  • Funding for green chemistry research and development to speed the transition to safer chemicals and cleaner products.

Votes are expected on new TSCA reform legislation sponsored by Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) beginning in June. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a national coalition of 250 0rganizations representing more than 11 million Americans working to protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals and restore the luster of safety to U.S. goods in the world market.