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Originally published June 22 2015

Chemical companies push for law to determine their own safety standards

by Jennifer Lilley

(NaturalNews) If ever there was an initiative steeped in bias and a deep disregard for a "best for everyone" approach, it's the one taking place among chemical giants such as Dow, DuPont, Honeywell and 3M. These companies, and the people who have ties with them, are actually attempting to thwart state efforts to regulate chemicals. Instead, they're lobbying for legislation that says states do not have to furnish new information to the EPA pertaining to chemical safety and chemical evaluation.(1)

As if that's not bothersome enough, the bill would mean that the EPA could take their sweet time to assess chemicals; they'd be allowed to take up to seven years to review one single chemical. Meanwhile, certain chemicals will continue to harm the environment, destroy health and ruin the planet. Seven years is simply a ludicrous amount of time, as is the attempt for David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) -- the key players who drafted and support such legislation -- to not have chemical companies disclose information. The desire for non-disclosure begs the question: why? If there's nothing to hide, why not put everything out there?(1)

Millions of dollars spent to keep you from knowing about the chemicals you eat, wear

Then again, this seems to be an accepted, but disturbing, norm: As it currently stands, the EPA has only assessed the safety of a few hundred chemicals. Plus, it's estimated that some 80,000 chemicals exist in products that consumers use on a daily basis without even being aware of. Then, we collectively scratch our heads in wonder about society's mysterious rashes, nausea and development of various ailments that can't always be explained. Surely, there's a link between those and what chemical companies know but don't tell us.(2)

So important is it for chemical giants to determine their own safety standards that millions of dollars continue to be spent. In 2014 alone, mega chemical companies like the ones listed above spent more than $69 million to lobby legislators, up over $10 million from just two years prior.(1)

Sadly, attempts to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 have grown increasingly ineffective through the decades, something which many people are in agreement about. This is mainly because the EPA, whose authority to ensure that the TSCA keeps track of the chemicals in our lives has weakened over time, can't even ban asbestos, a known cancer-causing substance.(2)

In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the TSCA was "broken from the start" -- since it went into effect. Right from the onset, it had thousands of chemicals already grandfathered in and on the market. Because of this, people have been, and continue to be, ingesting, wearing and touching chemicals that could potentially be life-threatening. Enter bill S.697. It's the legislation that Vitter and Udall hope passes, so it stays this way.(3)

How you can take action against chemical non-disclosure bill

However, you can do your part to keep this from happening. By making your voice known, you'll be instrumental in taking a stance against this evil measure, in lobbying for which supporters have already spent $190 million. Visit the Organic Consumers Association website here, and on the right side of the page, you'll see a squared-in area urging you to "take action." Simply enter your zip code and follow the prompts to express your dissatisfaction to Congress.(3)

Your action will support the thoughts of people such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) who stand by the fact that outdated acts must be updated, and that everyone has the right to know what chemicals are in their everyday lives.

"The legislation does nothing to ensure that terrifying disease clusters of children's cancers are addressed, and the killer of 10,000 Americans a year -- asbestos -- was entirely left out of the bill," Boxer said. "I will continue to call attention to the flaws of the bill and the improvements that are needed to protect our families."(3)





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