The Toxic Substances Control Act is an important statute that grants the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to regulate all chemicals that are imported or produced in the United States. One of the primary goals of the Toxic Substances Control Act is to ensure that workers remain safe. Companies are required to comply with various regulations according to the terms of this Act, and failure to do so can result in parties being seriously injured. It is important that workers understand the elements of this Act so they can have an idea of whether their employer is likely to be in compliance with the terms of the Act.
The Elements of the Toxic Substances Control
The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1974 is comprised of several sections, which include the following elements:
- Subchapter 1 establishes the elements of the program as well as regulations of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and prohibits some types of activities involving elemental mercury.
- Subchapter 2 authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to create regulations for how asbestos is used in school and creates requirements for asbestos contractors to become certified and trained.
- Subchapter 3 requires the Environmental Protection Agency to create a guide about the dangers of radon and conduct radon tests in government buildings.
- Subchapter 4 requires the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the sources of lead contamination in the environment.
Recent Revisions to the Act
Even though many of the elements of the Toxic Substances Control Act have not changed over the last 40 years, in 2016 elements of the Act were updated to apply to companies that use chemicals in new ways. This new law requires the EPA to develop regulations regarding chemicals that are currently used in the marketplace to assess whether these chemicals are high or low risk. More than 84,000 chemicals fell within the assessment ability of the EPA due to the Act. No action is required to be taken on low risk chemicals, while chemicals that present a hazard can ultimately be either banned or restricted.
Criticism of the Act
Even though the Toxic Control Substance Act was a significant step forward in the safety of workers, some academics and scientists have severely criticized the act. These critics claim that the Act needs substantial revision to bring it up to date to work atmospheres in the 21st century. Often, these critics argue several elements about the Act including that chemical producers are not required to disclose details about the hazardous nature of chemicals, there is a lack of tools to safely identify the hazards of chemicals, and the government has invested only marginally in leading technology to learn more about toxic chemicals and the harm they cause.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Attorney
If you or a loved one is a worker who has been harmed by exposure to a toxic substance, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. Contact an attorney at Ferrara & Gable today to begin taking control of your case.