Senator Dick Durbin
WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)–September 27, 2016. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to list asbestos and flame retardants among the top priority chemicals it will review under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which reforms the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Signed by President Obama in June, the law gives the EPA new authority to review and regulate chemicals based on the impact they have on the most vulnerable: infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and chemical industry workers.
“EPA’s ‘Top 10’ list should prioritize review of asbestos and flame retardants, which have a history of causing chronic health problems and continue to pose a threat to millions of Americans,” wrote Durbin in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It is time for the EPA to fully protect Americans from the scourge of asbestos and flame retardant chemicals once and for all. I urge the EPA to list them among the first chemicals the Agency will study under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act and to use your full authority to prevent any future exposures.”
Senator Durbin has long fought to protect children and families from exposure to toxic substances. In response to a 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative report, Durbin, then Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, chaired a hearing on the safety and effectiveness of flame retardant chemicals and co-sponsored the Children and Firefighters Protection Act to ban toxic flame retardants from upholstered furniture and children’s products. In 2015, Durbin introduced the Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act, legislation that would help Americans avoid exposure to asbestos by creating a transparent, up-to-date, and searchable EPA database listing the known locations of asbestos and asbestos-containing products.
Full text of the letter can be here