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Policy

President signs TSCA reform bill into law

by Britt E. Erickson
June 27, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 26

Chemicals in household cleaners, clothing, furniture, and other everyday products will face increased scrutiny by U.S. regulators under legislation signed into law on June 22 by President Barack Obama. It is the first time the U.S. has updated its chemicals management law in 40 years. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency new authorities to request safety data for both new chemicals and substances that are already on the market. The law also allows EPA to collect fees from industry to pay for chemical safety evaluations. Efforts to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) have been in the works for several years. A breakthrough compromise late last year in the Senate paved the way for passage this year. The House of Representatives and Senate came to an agreement in May. The legislation has support from the chemical industry and some environmental groups, who say it will help boost confidence in the safety of chemicals in consumer products.

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