Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges [Updated July 18, 2008]   [open pdf - 229KB]

This CRS report discusses the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act, as well as the new challenges associated with it. "Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)of 1976 has never been amended, but recent legal, scientific, and technological changes are prompting some policy makers to reexamine the law. […]. Recent changes in science and technology pose challenges to EPA implementation of TSCA. For example, scientists now know that the timing and duration of exposure to a chemical can determine its effects, as can the age, gender, and heritable traits of people who are exposed. Biotechnology and nanotechnology have created genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and nanomaterials, respectively, which EPA must categorize as 'existing' or 'new' and manage as 'chemical substances' under TSCA. Faced with these challenges to TSCA, some analysts, and most in the regulated community, nevertheless believe that TSCA has performed as intended, and they support TSCA in its current form. They praise TSCA as a flexible, efficient, and effective limit to over-regulation. Other legal commentators and analysts want to amend TSCA, because they think that it has not accomplished the tasks laid out for it by Congress, and is unlikely to do better in the future."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34118
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