Lawmakers want to overhaul our nation’s chemical safety law, but there’s a lot of disagreement about how to do that.
In the U.S., chemicals are innocent until proven guilty.
If officials at the Environmental Protection Agency want to ban a chemical, they need to provide a lot of proof that it’s harmful for us or the environment. As the EPA's Dale Kemery once explained to me, "EPA can ban chemicals if it can demonstrate that they present an unreasonable risk. This is a relatively high regulatory standard and requires a substantial amount of high quality exposure and hazard information."
The law we currently have on the books is 39 years old. It’s called the Toxic Substances Control Act or TSCA. It’s been widely criticized as toothless and outdated.