U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA) recently announced a bipartisan agreement to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and reportedly ensure the safety of everyday consumer products to better protect American families. The legislation is intended to significantly update and improve TSCA, which has been criticized by both the public health community and industry. The Lautenberg-Vitter legislation would reportedly ensure that all chemicals are screened for safety to protect public health and the environment, while also creating an environment where manufacturers can continue to innovate, grow, and create jobs.

The Lautenberg-Vitter “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013” is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Charles Schumer (D-NY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tom Udall (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Boozman (R-AR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and John Hoeven (R-ND).

“This bipartisan agreement is an historic step toward meaningful reform that protects American families and consumers,” said Senator Lautenberg, who first introduced legislation to reform TSCA in 2005. “Every parent wants to know that the chemicals used in everyday products have been proven safe, but our current chemical laws fail to give parents that peace of mind. Our bipartisan bill would fix the flaws with current law and ensure that chemicals are screened for safety.” 

“Our bill strikes the right balance between strengthening consumer confidence in the safety of chemicals, while also promoting innovation and the growth of an important sector of our economy,” said Senator Vitter, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. “Chemical manufacturing is a big part of Louisiana’s economy and across the country, and the Chemical Safety Improvement Act establishes a program that should provide confidence to the public and consumers by giving the EPA the tools it needs to make critical determinations while providing a more transparent process. The benefit of such a system is that industry should also have more confidence that the federal system works to facilitate innovation and grow our economy.”

“From life-saving medicines, to energy efficient build materials, chemistry is responsible for countless innovations that have transformed society,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO, American Chemistry Council. "America’s chemical industry is a critical source of economic growth and good-paying jobs across the country. Achieving sound, balanced TSCA reform that enhances public confidence in the safety of chemicals and enables America to remain the world’s leading innovator is our top priority. This bipartisan compromise legislation will put safety first, while also promoting innovation, economic growth and job creation—goals that are critical to our industry, to our nearly 800,000 employees and to the many other industries that rely on the products of chemistry.”

For additional information, visit www.lautenberg.senate.gov.