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Lautenberg: CDC Study Reveals Urgent Need to Reform Chemical Safety Standards
Senator Preparing Chemical Reform Legislation
Lautenberg Press Office (202) 224-3224
Thursday, December 10,
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, today highlighted the release of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Lautenberg, a leader in the Senate on improving chemical safety, is preparing legislation that would put the burden on companies to prove that chemicals are safe before they end up in products and eventually in our bodies.
“This study affirms that Americans are exposed to a wide range of industrial chemicals - including some that are known to cause cancer - and provides further evidence that America’s broken chemical regulations must be fixed,” stated Lautenberg. “Far too little is known about the hundreds of chemicals that end up in our bodies and EPA has far too little authority to deal with the chemicals that science has already proven dangerous. Americans deserve to know that products they rely on - from household cleaners to personal care products to building materials - will not harm their families.”
The CDC Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals is part of an ongoing assessment of the U.S. population’s exposure to environmental chemicals by measuring chemicals in people’s blood and urine.
The Fourth Report presents exposure data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the civilian, U.S. population over a two-year survey period of 2003–2004. In addition to presenting data from 2003–2004, this Fourth Report will also include the data from 1999–2000 and 2001–2002 as reported in the Second and Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.
Lautenberg’s legislation will reflect recent developments from the National Academy of Science and new principles that were released by the Obama Administration on September 29, 2009. It will include requiring the EPA to determine whether chemicals meet new safety standards based on scientific risk assessment. It will require chemical companies to provide data for the EPA to determine if that standard is met and require the EPA to prioritize taking action on chemicals that present the greatest risk to human health.
Out of the more than 80,000 substances on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inventory of chemicals, the agency has only required testing of approximately 200 and restricted only five.
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