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Federal law regulating toxic chemicals receives update, P.2

In our previous post, we began discussing the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, particularly with respect to recent updates to the law. As we noted, the primary purpose of the federal law is to regulate the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products and manufacturing. Under the recent update of the law, a number changes were made.

These changes include: a new requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency identify and protect populations which are particularly at risk for toxic chemical exposure. Such populations include children, the elderly, pregnant women and workers. The changes also require the EPA to identify the hazards of high-risk chemicals and, when appropriate regulate specific uses of individual chemicals. 

Under these changes, the EPA is required to establish standards for evaluation of chemicals and investigate them. The agency is also required to inform the public about its findings, reporting to Congress annually and conducting safety assessments. Another change made to the law is that the industry will be required to pay into a fund to support the EPA’s ongoing work related to these changes.  

Those who have been harmed by entities which fail to comply with their obligations under the Toxic Substances Control Act have the right to hold responsible parties accountable. Going about this is not always an easy matter, though, particularly for when there is a David and Goliath dynamic. In our next post, we’ll look a bit at how enforcement of the law works, and how an experienced attorney can be of assistance. 

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