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Improving the Toxic Substances Control Act: A Precautionary Approach to Toxic Chemical Regulation Open Access

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The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted to improve our understanding of the chemicals in commerce and our ability to regulate dangerous chemicals. Thirty plus years after its enactment, TSCA is widely viewed as having failed to achieve these goals. The push for TSCA reform has gained increased attention due to a chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia and troubling connections scientists are beginning to draw between toxic chemical exposure and neurological disorders. This paper advocates for TSCA reform that incorporates the precautionary principle, improves information generation and dissemination, and guides technology improvements in the chemical industry. The thesis begins by providing a background on TSCA's enactment and a summary of selected Title I provisions. The thesis then examines the lack-luster impact TSCA has had on information generation, chemical regulation, and control of information confidentiality claims. Section V examines the impact of toxic chemicals on human health and the environment, arguing that this information shows the need to strengthen TSCA. Section VI evaluates the European Union's chemical regulatory regime (REACH) and other authors' approaches to TSCA reform, ultimately concluding that TSCA reform should incorporate the precautionary principle, improve information generation, guide technological improvement and increase information sharing and dissemination.

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