Today EPA identified five chemicals that will receive “expedited action” under the new Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. The provision of the law requiring this action was a priority for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families during the legislative debate. It applies only to a small number of the chemicals that are known to be Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (“PBT”). These chemicals pose unique threats to public health and the environment because they do not break down in the environment and they build up in the food chain, including in the human body.
In response, Andy Igrejas, the director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a broad coalition of health, environmental, labor and business organizations, issued the following statement:
“EPA’s announcement today is very important. It signals what will soon be the first concrete public health and environmental improvements under the new Lautenberg Act. Each of these chemicals persist in the environment and build up in the food chain, including in the human body, making them a priority public health threat. They are treated differently under the law. EPA goes straight to the question of how to eliminate exposure.
We fought to have this provision applied to a broader group of chemicals, but the chemical industry resisted. Nevertheless, expedited action even against these five chemicals will be a win for public health. We plan to stay engaged with the agency to help it identify all the sources of exposure that must be eliminated.”