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April 29, 2010

Sen. Lautenberg Introduces TSCA Reform Bill

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. According to a press statement from Sen. Lautenberg’s office, “the‘Safe Chemicals Act of 2010’ requires safety testing of all industrial chemicals, and puts the burden on industry to prove that chemicals are safe in order stay on the market. Under current policy, the EPA can only call for safety testing after evidence surfaces demonstrating a chemical is dangerous. As a result, EPA has been able to require testing for just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently registered in the U.S. and has been able to ban only five dangerous substances. The new legislation will give EPA more power to regulate the use of dangerous chemicals and require manufacturers to submit information proving the safety of every chemical in production and any new chemical seeking to enter the market.”

Following the announcement, 16 associations—including the Consumer Specialty Products Association, the Personal Care Products Council (formerly CTFA) and Soap and Detergent Association—issued the following statement:

“Protecting public health by ensuring the safety of chemicals and the products they go into is a top priority for our industries. This should be a priority for any federal chemical regulatory reform effort as well. We agree with Senator Lautenberg that it is time to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and have been working with Congress, the Administration and stakeholders to enhance the way chemicals are managed.

“We agree with certain concepts in the bill, such as: a risk-based approach to prioritizing chemicals for review, efforts to minimize animal testing and practical approaches to information and data development. We support a federal policy to regulate chemicals in commerce rather than a patchwork quilt of state laws that would make it difficult to bring products to the marketplace. However, preemption provisions in this proposal will allow states to adopt regulations that are not uniform. We are also concerned about the proposed standard for decision-making.

“Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bobby Rush have proposed a ‘discussion draft’ and an outreach process before introducing a formal bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. We look forward to participating with both Senate and House leaders in a transparent and meaningful discussion by all key stakeholder groups to ensure that TSCA reforms are based on sound science and protect the safety of all consumers, while promoting jobs and innovation,” the associations said.

Other associations filing the joint statement included the American Chemistry Council, Flexible Packaging Association, Fragrance Materials Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

CSPA Expands International, Aerosol Products Efforts

The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) is expanding its international affairs and aerosol products efforts with the formation of two new groups within the Association.

CSPA’s International Affairs Committee (IAC) has a new Latin America Region Subcommittee (LARS) that will cover Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.LARS will participate in international forums and strengthen information networks to ensure a positive climate for policymaking for industry and CSPA members that operate in the region.

The IAC is chaired by Mike Irwin, The Procter & Gamble Company. LARS will be chaired by Julia Ownbey, Arch Chemicals; vice chairs are Andrea Chertoff, The Clorox Company, and Ruben Mendoza, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Additionally, the Aerosol Products Division formed a new Plastic Aerosol Container Subcommittee under its Commercial Standards Committee (CSC) to work on a broad range of issues relating to plastic aerosol containers.

Among several important goals, the group will ensure that industry standards are in alignment with regulations or guidelines of U.S. governing agencies and global aerosol regulations.

Scott Smith of The Procter & Gamble Company will chair the subcommittee and CSC chair Kevin Hoening, SeaquistPerfect Dispensing, will serve as vice chair.

RIFM Panel Opens to Public

The expert panel that reviews the scientific research of the fragrance industry is opening its process to the public to emphasize the credibility of its scientific methodology and increase public awareness.

The global fragrance industry collectively carries out research on fragrance ingredients through the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM).

Historically, all reviews of RIFM research by the expert panel are published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and are available to the public; this practice will continue. The decision by the panel to open its process to the public is in alignment with the fragrance industry’s move toward greater transparency about its ingredients.

The panel has already listed its members on the RIFM website at in the “About RIFM” section and will also post information about its meetings there.

The expert panel also provides information to the public through RIFM’s Information Exchange (INFOX).

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