Chemical Safety, Health Care Costs and the Affordable Care Act

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Lynn Goldman , Philip Landrigan
George Washington University , Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Summary Statement

This article provides an overview of chemical use and regulation in the United States and makes a case for passing the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013. The authors review the history of the EPA's Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and note that more than 85,000 chemicals have been developed since 1976, but only five have been banned under TSCA and only about half of the 3,000 most widely used chemicals "have ever had any safety assessments." Finally, they argue that improving chemical regulation will reduce health care costs and can have a direct impact on the success of the Affordable Care Act.
September 2013