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ACC Releases Roadmap to Next Generation of Chemical Safety

August 4, 2009
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has released its specific guidelines for the modernization of our nation’s chemical safety laws.

“The chemical industry is committed to the safety of our products. Any effort to modernize our nation’s chemical management system must start with consumer safety as its highest priority. Current law is more than 30 years old and the law must be updated to keep pace with science,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of ACC. Dooley hosted a press briefing in Washington, D.C. where the Council proposed 10 principles for effective chemicals management. He was joined at the event by ACC member company CEOs and partner associations.

“These 10 principles provide a roadmap needed to build a more effective chemical management system that ensures consumer safety while preserving America’s role as the world’s leading innovator and creator of safe and environmentally sound technologies and products,” Dooley said. “We look forward and are committed to working with Congress, the administration, and all stakeholders toward enactment of effective legislation.”

Dooley was joined at the press briefing by Mark Rohr, president and CEO of Albemarle Corp., Dave Kepler, executive vice president of Dow, Tom Shepherd, chairman and CEO of The Shepherd Chemical Co., Chris Cathcart, president and CEO of the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), and Ernie Rosenberg, president and CEO of the Soap and Detergent Association.

“Modernizing the federal chemical management system properly will also help assure that the business of chemistry continues to serve as a critical American asset,” said Rohr. “A strong law is crucial to consumer safety, but so is industry innovation.” He pointed out that the industry provides products that meet the needs of our society, supporting more than 850,000 American jobs and contributing nearly $700 billion to the American economy.

“Some might be surprised that we in the industry are supporting enhanced regulation,” said Kepler. “They shouldn’t be. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars annually in testing and research and support a robust chemicals management system. High-priority chemicals should be tested and evaluated under generally accepted scientific principles and the effort should be overseen by an Environmental Protection Agency that is provided adequate resources to do its job. It will give the public confidence in what we do.”

Shepherd, also Chairman of ACC’s Small Business Council added, “America’s prosperity is rooted in healthy businesses that create jobs and improve people’s lives. A modern federal statute that enables government and industry to work together on safety means we all succeed.”

Highlights of the principles include:

* Chemicals should be safe for their intended use.
* EPA should prioritize chemicals for safe use determinations to focus on chemicals of highest concern.
* The chemical industry should continue to provide robust information in a transparent manner on chemicals it produces.
* Potential risks faced by children should be an important factor in safe use determinations.
* Companies and EPA should work together to enhance public access to chemical health and safety information.
* The EPA should rely on scientifically valid data and information, and should have the resources it needs to ensure the safety of chemicals.
* A modernized TSCA should encourage technological innovation.

For the full list of chemical management principles, visit www.americanchemistry.com/TSCAprinciples.