Working to Protect Americans from Toxic Chemicals and Spurring Innovation in the Business Community
Our approach to chemical safety in this country is in dire need of reform. EPA’s tools under our current chemicals management law (the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA) are outdated, time-consuming and have left thousands of chemicals, some of which we encounter in our daily lives, not properly evaluated for health impacts. While we work for reform of this outdated law, EPA’s goal is to provide chemical information in new ways and create useful tools so American business, environmental groups and the American people can make informed choices and use safer chemicals.
Today we launched ChemView, a web-based tool to help companies make safer chemical choices. I know that businesses and consumers need to make chemical decisions, whether they are product manufacturers choosing between chemicals for a new consumer product, retailers selecting products to carry on their shelves, or consumers choosing which product to purchase in the grocery store. ChemView will facilitate safer decision-making and provide businesses with the information they need to make safer choices for consumer and commercial products.
For example, if a company wants to develop a new chemical product, they can access the specific chemical information, view the health and safety data, compare the information to other chemicals, and then identify and select the safest possible ingredients. ChemView can be used to investigate and develop safer products, from cleaners used in our homes to microchips that power our computers and phones.
My hope is that American businesses will feel empowered to use safer ingredients and manufacture safer products for consumers. Informed chemical decision making can have long-lasting and positive impacts on our health, our environment and the economy by reducing the use of potentially hazardous chemicals and helping to spur innovation in the business community.
ChemView’s searchable database can be a one-stop shop for easy access to health, safety and regulatory data on chemicals; hazard characterizations, alternative assessments, test data, and TSCA regulatory actions. EPA will continue to populate the database as the science evolves.
I’m optimistic that ChemView will prove to be a useful tool that makes selecting safer chemicals easier. I am planning for ChemView to continually expand and evolve, and serve American innovators to better protect the health of people and our planet.
Jim Jones is the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. He is responsible for managing the office which implements the nation’s pesticide, toxic chemical, and pollution prevention laws. Jim’s career with EPA spans more than 26 years. He has an M.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. from the University of Maryland, both in Economics.
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