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Ten Essential Elements in TSCA Reform

January 2009

Citation: ELR 10020

Author: Richard A. Denison, Ph.D.

Editors' Summary:

Congress enacted TSCA in 1976 to control risks from chemicals in commerce. It requires the government to review most new chemicals while they are being developed and it gives government the power to regulate chemicals already in or entering commerce if they create an "unreasonable risk" to health or to the environment. Yet current policy hinders government's ability to generate information and to act on such information when it indicates significant risk. This Article identifies 10 elements that can facilitate a shift toward knowledge-driven policies that motivate and reward, rather than impede and penalize, the development of information sufficient to provide a reasonable assurance of chemical safety. Adopting a more comprehensive approach that seeks to develop good information on most or all chemicals would allow us to select safer chemicals with confidence.

Richard Denison is a Senior Scientist with Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.

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