As the 113th Congress continues efforts to revise the 38-year-old chemical regulation statute, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), the Society of Toxicology (SOT) TSCA Subcommittee is working with members of Congress and their staff to offer assistance on key scientific provisions of draft legislation. In late February, subcommittee members Ron Filler and George Gray visited Capitol Hill to meet with multiple offices to discuss TSCA.
During their visits, Drs. Filler and Gray stressed the importance of ensuring that the scientific sections of the legislation are consistent with the best possible science and flexible enough to accommodate future scientific advances in toxicology. They also presented the following three principles that SOT has endorsed to help guide legislators in the reform of the 38-year-old statute:
- Avoid prescription of specific methods or techniques for generating information used in the safety and risk assessment process.
- Protect the authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency to judge when, and how, to apply new techniques and methods for generating information for safety and risk assessment within TSCA.
- Apply concepts used in the safety and risk assessment process consistently throughout the proposed legislation.
While speaking with representatives on Capitol Hill, Drs. Gray and Filler expanded upon the first principle, noting that “there may be techniques that have great promise for public safety, but are not yet developed enough to be reliable, or there may be other techniques that are well established, but have become obsolete by newer, more predictive methods.”
SOT plans more meetings on Capitol Hill and has pledged to work with staff and Members of Congress as the House and Senate continue their work to modernize this major environmental statute.