When Congress reauthorizes a decades-old toxic chemicals law this year, the Environmental Protection Agency could finally do a safety review of any chemical registered under the law. And just how many chemicals are registered? 84,000.
The bulk of those chemicals—62,000 or so—were grandfathered in when the Toxic Substance Control Act passed in 1976, and the EPA has limited power to require testing of chemicals on the market prior to that law. In fact, the agency has required testing of just over 200 of those. The new law making its way through Congress threatens to shake things up: It could broaden the EPA’s authority to request safety studies on chemicals both old and new. And here, animal welfare advocates see an opening.