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SOCMA Responds to "Safe Chemicals Act"

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) released the following statement regarding the introduction in the U.S. Senate of the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010” by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
 
"SOCMA supports efforts to promote the health and environment of all Americans and agrees that now is the time to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). We are pleased to see that this bill makes an effort to address the need to prioritize chemicals, reduce animal testing, share information with state governments, and protect our country’s most vulnerable groups, including children.
 
"However, the Safe Chemicals Act overreaches in its attempt to impose a new approach to regulating chemicals. The requirement that no less than 300 chemical substances be on the priority list at any given time is overly prescriptive. We have serious reservations with the minimum data set requirement and extending it to all new uses of existing chemicals. We also have concerns with the expansion of the safety standard to industrial chemicals. This would create major challenges for SOCMA members, many of whom manufacture intermediates for which there may be limited exposures and many possible uses that are sometimes unknown to the manufacturer.
 
“Both of these issues would prove to create a highly burdensome and time-consuming process that would negatively impact innovation, which is paramount to ensuring the ability to develop safer chemicals. Any enhancement to TSCA should consider how the costs and delays associated with increased data submission requirements could impair the industry’s ability to innovate or jeopardize the sustainability of the chemical industry.
 
“Just as EPA has not fully exercised its existing authority under TSCA, Congress fell short in its responsibility to consistently oversee TSCA implementation during the past 30 years. We urge Congressional leaders to be inclusive in their outreach to all manufacturing stakeholders during the bill’s progression. We look forward to further educating Congress about our concerns and impacts of this bill on our industry."

SOCMA is the leading trade association serving the batch, custom, and specialty chemical industry since 1921. SOCMA’s nearly 300 members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information, visit www.socma.com.

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