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In 2016, President Obama signed the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act into law, reforming the outdated 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. This followed a long campaign led by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (now Toxic-Free Future’s federal policy program) and allies in the coalition we built with environmental, consumer, business, labor, health, and science groups. While the final reforms fell short of our platform, they were also substantially improved from the chemical industry-crafted “reform” package.

Highlights of the final reforms include: a strictly health-based standard for chemicals, explicit protection for vulnerable populations, an expedited process for ordering chemical testing, and limited preemption of state programs. 

Moving forward, our challenge is to watchdog and prod implementation of the law regardless of the administration and to extract as much benefit for public health and the environment as we can.