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Why the House TSCA Reform Bill is a Very Bad Bill

Contact: Stephenie Hendricks, (415) 258-9151,

On February 27, 2014, Congressman John Shimkus (R-Illinois) and other House Republicans introduced the "Chemicals in Commerce Act" (CICA), a draft companion bill to the "Chemical Safety Improvement Act" (CSIA) in the Senate to change the way toxic chemicals are regulated.

The House of Representatives held a hearing on the bill, March 12, 2014. Read the News Advisory and watch the hearing.

Here are some of the problems with Rep. Shimkus' bill.

CICA fails to protect us from toxic chemicals; people are getting sick and dying.

  • Babies in the U.S. are born with over 200 chemicals in their bodies
  • A recent World Cancer Report predicted 57% increase in cancer rates in next 20 years and they said prevention is desperately needed
  • Emerging science is increasingly identifying health problems from chemicals - including a new study showing children's brains are increasingly harmed from toxic chemicals
  • Learning disabilities, autism, pediatric cancer, breast cancer, thyroid disease and many other health problems are linked to unregulated toxic chemicals exposure.

This bill would be worse than current law. It's a "Poison Pill."

  • Does not protect health – it has a weak safety standard with no timelines
  • Pre-empts states from carrying out their duty to protect people from toxic chemicals. CICA would restrict states from passing their own health-protective chemical policies. Link to AG letter
  • Does not protect communities - People of color and low-income people are most impacted by toxic chemicals and there are NO provisions at all to protect them in the CICA. Here are real life tragedies from unregulated chemicals:
  • It's bad for business — manufacturers and retailers pay the price for products with dangerous chemicals in them. See the Fact Sheet on Business and TSCA Reform
  • Gags doctors and nurses from talking about the chemical information they receive from EPA that is linked to health impacts happening to their patients from toxic chemical exposure

The chemical industry's dirty fingerprints are all over this bill.

The CICA appears to be lifted directly from ACC talking points. And not surprisingly, campaign contributions from the petrochemical industry to the members of Congress coincide with those members obstructing protections from toxic chemicals.

Who do you trust with your health? Chemical corporations who are pushing for weaker regulations? Or the nation's health, environmental, business and parent communities and environmental justice groups?

Statements on CICA from Coming Clean Participants

American Sustainable Business Council

Breast Cancer Fund

Center for Environmental Health

Environmental Justice and Health Alliance

Environmental Working Group

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

Safer States

Letters to Congress from Coming Clean Participants

Center for Environmental Health

Environmental Justice and Health Alliance

Safer States

Available for Comment

Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN; Executive Director, Clean & Healthy New York; Former Policy Director, Clean New York, a project of Women's Voices for the Earth; Co-Coordinator, Workgroup for Public Policy Reform, Coming Clean; (518) 355-6202, Kathy can address chemical reform in states and on a federal level and the role of flame retardants in the story. 

Stephen Boese; Former Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of New York State; (518) 608-8992,

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