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SOCMA Supports Congressional Review of TSCA's Effectiveness

In a statement submitted today to a key U.S. Senate environmental panel, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), provided support for a bipartisan look at our nation's chemical control law, urging lawmakers to carefully consider the many factors that govern the statute before rushing to overhaul the law.

SOCMA's statement was submitted to a hearing on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) before the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, chaired by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

"SOCMA understands that TSCA modernization is a complex issue that deserves close scrutiny,” SOCMA president Lawrence D. Sloan wrote. “Many relevant factors should be considered, most of which, we believe, fall outside the statute itself."

Sloan added that TSCA critics selectively cite chemical statistics that paint an incomplete picture of TSCA’s effectiveness. He underscored the fact that these statistics alone make it appear as if TSCA has failed due to a relatively low number of restricted chemicals when, in fact, there is a great deal of testing conducted. He added that most chemicals can be used safely and therefore do not require additional restrictions. He continued by noting that there are many other federal laws that govern chemicals management and that advances in the field of analytical chemistry should be acknowledged before placing blame solely on TSCA for increased exposures.

SOCMA asked that the subcommittee consider a variety of metrics to evaluate TSCA prior to introducing new legislation, such as:

* The number of new chemicals reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 5 since TSCA’s inception
* The number of Pre-Manufacturing Notices (PMN) that were withdrawn as a result of those reviews
* The number of PMNs whose review periods were voluntarily suspended while the submitter conducted tests or gathered other data
* The number of Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) issued by EPA
* The number of existing chemicals actually in commerce.

“Ultimately, success will not depend solely or primarily on how many chemicals are restricted, but on the net health, environmental and economic effects of implementing these laws,” Sloan said.

SOCMA will continue its efforts to promote recommendations for a pragmatic approach to TSCA modernization with members of Congress. On April 13, SOCMA members will directly take their message to Congress and discuss their position with lawmakers and their staff during SOCMA Connect's 4th Annual Washington Fly-in.

For more information regarding SOCMA’s position on the safety standard, visit SafeForUse.net.

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