The internet is filled with parodies of Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit “Call Me, Maybe” but the most recent parody from the League of Conservation Voters might be the first that calls for change, specifically, chemical reform.
Released last week, “Test It, Maybe” was made to promote the Safe Chemicals Act. Should this act, was first introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in 2005, come through, then it would replace the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976.
The League of Conservation Voters shares on their website:
The main law governing toxic chemicals regulation is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which passed in 1976. It was designed to protect us from the dangers of toxic chemicals in consumer products, but it has fallen short of that worthy goal and is in urgent need of modernization. Since the law passed, 80,000 chemicals have made their way into the U.S. market, but the EPA has only required testing on around 200 of those, and only a handful have been restricted. Congress is working to reform TSCA so that the EPA can more effectively do its job and promote safer alternatives while working with industry to better protect the American people. LCV is committed to working with Congress and the administration to pass comprehensive TSCA reform that protects our families from harmful chemicals in our homes and workplaces.
The Safe Chemicals Act was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in July and will be voted on by congressmen this fall.
“This vote is a major milestone in our effort to fix America’s broken system for regulating toxic chemicals,” said Senator Lautenberg in a press release. “Children and families could be in danger from everyday consumer products, and the U.S. Government is virtually powerless to do anything to make sure that the chemicals used in products are safe. For too long, the chemical industry has deceived the public and the government about the safety of their products. They have ripped a page out of the tobacco industry’s playbook. Today we are saying ‘game over’ – it’s time to protect the public health.”
The League of Conservation Voters explains on YouTube, “Right now, there is little control of what goes into our everyday products, such as household cleaners and soaps, furniture, plastics, and electronics. So many of these contain toxic compounds that have been linked to rising instances of childhood cancer, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, reproductive disorders, and asthma. We need Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act to reform our broken chemical policy and finally protect us from dangerous chemicals.”
The group is also encouraging Americans to sign a petition and tell their Senator to vote for the Safe Chemicals Act this fall.`
The potential for chemical reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t take the lives of millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill should mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods. Further, legislative language should be clear: given the option between an animal test and a nonanimal test, a nonanimal test should always be conducted. We need to ensure that chemical testing is in line with the 21st century and relies on modern, human cell and computer-based methods that provide accurate data on how a chemical acts and what the impact on human health may be.