The Hazardous Substances Labeling Act Is Signed (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the Hazardous Substances Labeling Act (HSLA), which required hazardous and potentially dangerous substances packaged for home use to have warning labels.
Summary of Event
The Hazardous Substances Labeling Act (HSLA, Public Law 86-613) authorized the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to require labeling on packaged household substances that were toxic, corrosive, flammable, irritating, strongly sensitizing, or pressure-generating. Such substances had not been covered by previous legislation, including the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and its amendments and the 1947 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The HSLA was the first legislation in a decade-long push to regulate consumer protection that included, in 1966, major amendments to the act itself. These amendments drastically expanded the scope of the HSLA and changed its name to the Hazardous Substances Act.
Throughout most of U.S. history, evaluating product safety had been the buyer’s responsibility, not the government’s. In a largely agrarian society, in which most household products were made either at home or locally, such an approach was, for the most part, workable. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, as American society became more industrialized and urban, and as previously unknown chemical additives and preservatives were being...
(The entire section is 1908 words.)
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