The EPA Is Empowered to Regulate Toxic Chemicals (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The Toxic Substances Control Act was passed, permitting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate toxic chemicals that pose a possible threat to the environment or to human health.
Summary of Event
There are seven million known chemical compounds, sixty thousand of which are used commercially. About one thousand new chemicals are put into production every year and introduced into the environment. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in order to give the government the authority to regulate the use of a substance that can harm human health or the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged with reviewing risk information on all new chemicals before they are manufactured or imported and with deciding whether they should be admitted, controlled, or banned.
In the 1970’s, a considerable number of newspaper accounts reported that some commonly used chemicals were associated with such problems as cancer, birth defects, and sterility. A milestone in the regulation of environmental hazards was the passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which represented the federal response to a growing awareness of and concern over the existence of hazardous chemicals in the environment that were not subject to regulation or testing under any of the other environmental laws. The act was preceded by the Clean Air Act, which regulated discharges and emissions...
(The entire section is 1578 words.)
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