Petition to the U.S. Senate
to Strengthen Toxic Chemical Reform
We, the undersigned health professionals and
concerned citizens, call on the United States Senate to protect American
families from the toxic chemicals found in many manufactured products, by
strengthening the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 1009).
The Chemical Safety Improvement Act is designed to
improve our health by preventing toxic exposures from the products we use in
our everyday lives. It will achieve that
goal only if certain serious shortcomings are remedied. We ask you to take immediate action to
correct the following failings in the bill:
fails to incorporate the Precautionary Principle. A
precautionary approach requires that the chemical industry bear the burden of
demonstrating the safety of the chemicals they use. The people and government must not have to
bear the negative consequences of exposure to toxic chemicals and then the
burden of proving harm.
preempts the authority of the states to regulate harmful chemicals.
Absent effective action by the federal government, the states have taken significant
leadership in protecting their citizens from such harmful chemicals as bisphenol
A, phthalates and flame retardants. The
CSIA would largely prevent states from taking
action to address dangerous chemicals, even in the absence of federal
regulation. The power of the states to enact laws to
protect their citizens from toxic chemicals must not be abridged.
neither identifies nor protects vulnerable populations. Such groups as pregnant women, young children
and the elderly are biologically more susceptible to harm from exposure to
toxic chemicals. Vulnerability is also
greater in communities with high levels of aggregate chemical exposure. The bill must define vulnerable populations
and require greater protection for them.
allows excessive withholding of information about chemical components in
manufactured products. The
bill violates the right of the public to know what toxic chemicals are
contained in the products we buy and use in our everyday lives. It also impedes the ability of health
professionals to treat patients for exposure to toxic substances. The bill must reduce the withholding of this
We urge you to make these necessary improvements in
the Chemical Safety Improvement Act in order to truly protect the public from toxic
chemicals used in products in the marketplace.