Target: American Chemistry Council
Goal: Condemn special interest group for lobbying against efforts to create mandatory listings of toxic chemicals
The American Chemistry Council has been engaged in a game of charades concerning chemical safety, state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress. A handful of states around the country have proposed bills that would establish a list of chemicals harmful to pregnant women and infants. While several of the bills would enforce regulation of such chemicals as bisphenol-A (BPA), the remainder would do little more than create an official list of toxic chemicals and the products that contain them. The ACC has used all of its lobbying power to stop these bills from being passed.
The Council’s dominant line of reasoning is that the state bills would be redundant following an update of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which the group supports. Unfortunately, members of congress that bought into this explanation were duped. As of early September, the ACC spoke out in support of withdrawing a proposal to create a TSCA toxic chemicals list. The Council’s strategy thus far has been to shut down robust state bills that would carry meaningful results in favor of a federal act too weak and watered down to bring any measurable change. Condemn the American Chemistry Council for denying protection to infants and pregnant women, and for engaging in dirty tricks at the expense of public health.
In Washington State, senators killed an act to ban toxic flame-retardants. In Maine, legislatures vetoed a bill designed to protect children and pregnant women from chemicals. The Texas Congress tore apart another act that would have prohibited children’s products from containing BPA. And most recently, representatives in Connecticut filibustered a bill that meant to establish a list of chemicals dangerous to children. The ACC lobbied against each of these measures. Such listings of toxic chemicals would damage business in these states, they claimed.
The ACC is working hard to keep the American public ignorant of the many chemicals contained in everyday products. Rather than inform U.S. citizens about the potential dangers of ingesting or coming into contact with these chemicals, the ACC would have people poison themselves unknowingly. The U.S. is the number one researcher and manufacturer of chemicals, and yet we have little to no regulation on many of these toxic materials. The bills blocked by the Council would have been small but important steps towards protecting pregnant women, children, and people in general. Condemn the American Chemistry Council for lobbying against the health of Americans.
Dear American Chemistry Council,
When your organization labors to destroy state bills designed to protect the health of infants and pregnant women, one really must question your motives. You have lobbied against every attempt to establish a list of toxic chemicals that may cause harm to children. You say that the federal government would be better equipped to handle such issues, especially after updating the Toxic Substances Control Act. Certainly the TSCA must be updated. Since it was passed in 1976, the EPA has used the Act as little more than a bookend and hasn’t revised a word in four decades. However, your Council pushes to dismiss the proposal for a TSCA list of toxic materials.
Consumers need to know which chemicals may be dangerous and in what products we find them. When trace amounts of a single chemical can cause irreparable harm to a fetus, a woman needs to know. How does establishing a list of toxic chemicals harm businesses? Trying to suppress such information only worsens our suspicions. Would it hinder business because industries are routinely sickening the American public? Please allow for increased transparency. As of now, you campaign for continued ignorance. I condemn the American Chemistry Council for lobbying against bills to protect infants and mothers and demand that you stop.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jglazer75 via Wikimedia Commons