(NaturalNews) There is a new piece of legislation before Congress that will require chemical manufacturers to prove that an industrial chemical is safe before they can use it in products. The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 will grant more power to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate chemicals and will update the antiquated Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to keep up with the times.
According to environmental advocates, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 is inadequate at protecting both people and the environment from toxic chemicals because the thousands of new chemicals that have been created since its passage are excluded from its mandates. The EPA has also failed to ban any chemicals under the old act.
"[O]ver the years, not only has [the Toxic Substances Control Act] fallen behind the industry it is intended to regulate, it has also proven an inadequate tool for providing the protection against chemical risks that the public rightfully expects," explained Steve Owens, assistant administrator of the EPA's office of chemical safety and pollution prevention department.
The Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010 will update current laws to grant the EPA the ability to require more safety information from chemical manufacturers. The EPA will also be given more power to restrict and ban unsafe chemicals from use.
As it currently stands, the burden of proof is on the EPA to prove that a chemical is unsafe after manufacturers begin using it, but the new bill will rightfully shift that burden to chemical manufacturers, requiring them to prove that a chemical is safe before being able to use it.