Issue Date: July 27, 2009
Endocrine Disrupters Drive TSCA Reform
Reproductive problems associated with human exposure to toxic chemicals are on the rise in the U.S., according to a report from the nonprofit Center for American Progress (CAP). In "Reproductive Roulette," author Reece Rushing, director of regulatory and information policy at CAP, points to a 30% increase in the number of chemicals registered for commercial use since 1979 and rising numbers of fertility problems, preterm births, and birth defects. In particular, the report links two plastics chemicals—phthalates and bisphenol A—and polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants to reproductive health effects. Rushing urges Congress to act now to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which he and many others say is ineffective. "Regulatory agencies lack the authority and capacity to adequately evaluate safety and set strong standards against dangerous chemicals," Rushing said in a statement. The American Chemistry Council, which represents the largest U.S. chemical manufacturers, testified in front of Congress earlier this year that it supports modernizing TSCA to enhance public confidence in the federal chemical management system.
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