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: Toxic Substances Poll



From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published July 20, 2012 10:23 AM

Toxic Substances Poll

Toxic chemicals are often hard to define. Nevertheless there is a strong need and demand to control and regulate such substances. A nationwide poll and four separate, statewide polls found strong support for bolstering protections against toxic chemicals. By overwhelming bipartisan margins, Americans support strengthening the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), according to new polls released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition, and the Ecology Center.

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Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism. There are generally three types of toxic entities; chemical, biological, and physical. The more obvious hazards are more easily controlled. It is the ones that are slower to react or may do so invisibly that are harder to predict and control.

"Americans of all stripes have real concerns about the toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day — and the serious health problems they cause," said Daniel Rosenberg, director of NRDC’s toxic chemicals reform project. "Protecting us from chemicals linked to cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other health problems should be a top priority for Congress. This really can’t wait."

NRDC and the Safer Chemical Healthy Families coalition strongly support the Safe Chemicals Act, S. 847, introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. The bill updates TSCA by requiring manufacturers to show that their chemicals are safe in order to sell them. It also streamlines the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to limit uses of a chemical that may harm public health or the environment.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a United States law, passed by the United States Congress in 1976, that regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. It grandfathered most existing chemicals, in contrast to the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) legislation of the European Union.

A nationwide poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) for NRDC found:

Nearly 74 percent of those polled think the threat posed to people’s health by the exposure to toxic chemicals is serious.

68 percent of respondents support stricter regulation of chemicals used and produced in the United States, with support across all demographic sub-groups, including those typically opposed to government regulation, such as self-described conservatives (54 percent) and tea party supporters (51 percent).

Description of a proposal that would require the chemical industry to prove that its products are safe and give EPA greater authority to restrict some or all uses of chemicals that may harm health or the environment garnered support from 77 percent of respondents.

POS and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) also conducted a poll in New Mexico that found: 76 percent of respondents consider chemical exposure a serious health threat in day-to-day life.

Meanwhile, separate polls conducted by The Mellman Group for the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition in Nevada and Missouri found: 62 percent of respondents in Missouri support stricter regulation of chemicals,

For further information see Toxic.

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