“We can now add the well-researched and trusted voice of the nation’s pediatricians to those calling for reform of the U.S. chemical law. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a new law must prioritize children’s health by protecting children and their families from dangerous chemicals. With this recommendation, AAP has joined the nation’s leading health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and the American Nurses Association, in calling for an overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is widely understood to be ineffective at protecting the public from exposure to toxic chemicals.
The input from the AAP is particularly helpful as it provides authoritative medical guidance to policy makers on the details of reform as they begin debate again this month. Years in the making, the AAP statement comes at a critical time. The U.S. Senate has legislation before it, the Safe Chemicals Act, that tracks closely with the Academy's recommendations. The Senate should move quickly to enact it.”
It's worth noting that the Academy's recommendations for chemical policy directly contradict the main industry group, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), on several points:
The Academy also makes several other recommendations that are new and constructive. They call for a new public information document for each chemical that explains any health concerns in plain language. This recommendations tracks with the complaints of many companies and also workers that the existing system for communicating chemical hazards — the material safety data sheet- is inadequate. The Academy also stresses the importance of bio-monitoring as a tool in chemical policy and calls for the expansion of the existing program at the Centers for Disease Control.
All in all, the Academy's statement is a welcome addition to the debate over federal reform. It both adds urgency to the cause of reform and reminds that the details of reform matter.
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The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition represents more than 11 million individuals and includes parents, health professionals, advocates for people with learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive health advocates, environmentalists and businesses from across the nation. For more information visit our website at www.saferchemicals.org.