WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) today testified in a hearing, “Prioritizing Chemicals for Safety Determination,” before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Representing the industry groups was Bill Greggs, who presented a model the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could use to help prioritize existing chemicals in commerce in a logical and efficient manner.
Developing a priority-setting process is a crucial element in achieving the global gold standard for chemicals management policy through modernization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, which provides the EPA the regulatory authority over chemicals in commerce. Given the more than three decades of scientific and technological advancements since TSCA was enacted, the industry groups say the statute is in need of a significant makeover. We are pleased that the Subcommittee is examining this issue and considering potential changes to TSCA that will help restore public confidence in the U.S. chemicals management system.
The industry is proposing a risk-based model that EPA can use to review and assess existing chemicals in commerce and that takes into consideration both a chemical’s hazards and potential exposures. Chemicals identified as high priorities should be those substances with both the highest hazards and the highest potential exposures.
A single factor, whether based on hazards or potential exposures, is not sufficient for a chemical to be deemed as a high priority chemical. This will result in everything being a priority, and if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.
The members of CSPA, GMA, and SDA are committed to manufacturing and marketing safe and innovative products that provide essential benefits, including important public health benefits, to consumers while protecting human health and the environment. Product safety is the foundation of consumer trust and the consumer products industry devotes substantial resources to achieving this goal. We urge Congress to bring together all stakeholders—Congress, regulators, downstream users, raw material suppliers, retailers, environmental, consumer, animal welfare and labor groups—to work together to develop sound public policy on the modernizing of TSCA.