Durbin Statement on Senate Passage of Toxic Chemical Safety Law

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, a chemical safety reform bill to overhaul the nation's broken Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The 39-year-old TSCA is the last of the major environmental laws passed in the 1960s and '70s that has not yet been modernized. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. ‎
We have long known that our nation’s chemical regulatory system is broken. We were forcefully reminded of this in 2012 by a series of articles in the Chicago Tribune highlighting the dangers associated with flame retardant chemicals in furniture. We also know that these chemicals accumulate in the environment and can cause cancer, neurological disorders, and impaired reproduction. Infants and young children are particularly at risk. For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has lacked the authority meaningfully regulate dangerous chemicals and keep them off the market. This overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation passed by Congress significantly strengthens EPA’s ability to protect Illinoisans and all Americans from these harmful substances.