Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced legislation to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – a measure supported by a coalition of nearly 300 health and environmental organizations.

Under current law, which was passed 35 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency requires testing of only a few hundred of the 85,000 chemicals on the market.

Backer’s expect the reform legislation have added protections for public health and to address key chemical industry concerns. “The new bill should have broadened bipartisan appeal, increasing chances of passing this year,” according to a statement issued by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition.

Lautenberg announced the legislation via a video on youtube,

The coalition said that scientific evidence is mounting that links the widespread and largely unregulated use of toxic chemicals to a range of series diseases and conditions that are rising in incidence, including: learning and developmental disabilities, certain cancers, reproductive disorders, and asthma. “Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families believes that effective and comprehensive reform of TSCA will not only protect public health; it will also help to spur innovation and promote the competitiveness of American companies in a global economy that is increasingly demanding safer chemicals and products.“

The proposed legislation would provide for disclosure of basic safety information for all chemicals in use and the reduction or phasing out of the most dangerous chemicals. It would also establish a standard for assessing chemical safety that accounts for real-world exposures.