On the New Toxic Substances Control Act

environmental defense fund scientist

By Chris Veritas

The inmates are running the asylum. And by inmates, I mean the freewheeling Chemical Corporations and the Government Agencies that “regulate” them.

Granted, this was not the idea the Washington Post intended to convey as it described the new Bipartisan chemical protection Bill, which is nearing Congressional approval. No, the Post presented its story with the sort of oblivious obscurantism that only a Western paper could affect, doing its best to mix up key information to avoid enlightening the reader. After all, if the reader became enlightened, he might find himself extremely upset due to the total negligence of his Government, supposed Watch Dog publications, and trusted corporations. As such, the Post’s article is a bit of a puzzle. I put the pieces together, and this is what I came up with.

The previous “Toxic Substances Control Act”, signed into law by President Ford forty years ago, was a complete failure, doing nothing to regulate toxicity. (You may balk at this, but I will show you it’s true.) The new “Toxic Act” will “streamline” regulations by federalizing the entire process, thereby further removing power from the States to combat chemical companies. No wonder said companies are lobbying for the Bill!

Now you know you’re in trouble when your toxic chemical regulations Bill is sponsored by the very companies that create the toxins. Enter the American Chemistry Council, an enormous conglomerate representing various gigantic chemical companies. With their full weight behind the “Toxic Act”, the genial support of a Bipartisan Legislature, and the EPA offering “technical assistance”, what could go wrong? After all, just because these people acted treacherously before, that doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted again, does it? Does it, Washington Post? New York Times? CNN? Wall Street Journal?

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with comments sarcastic enough to do this situation justice. After all, an exhaustive account of the hazardous chemicals foisted upon the American public and presented as being safe, would take an ice age to list properly. Perhaps the EPA felt a similar ennui in the face of so much toxicity, because guess what? According to the Post, “Most consumers assume… chemicals have been tested for safety, when the reality is only a tiny fraction of them have.” And “current law lets chemicals go to market after three months even without a thorough federal review.”

The reality is no one is looking out for us, and the EPA should not be trusted to solve the problems it helped create.

Moving on, disappointingly, even the environmental groups copped out and got on board with the “Toxic Act”. And what are they getting in return? A “Prioritize[d]… review of chemicals stored near drinking water”, and an increase in the ability of States to “restrict chemicals” after they have been sold for three and a half years, without a satisfactory federal review. But no promises of change regarding negligence.


This begs the question: who is it that will “prioritize” the “review” of the water supply, the EPA? What a joke.

Since past is prologue, here’s a little more on the history of the EPA. In the last forty years, eight-thousand chemicals have crossed the desk of this “Protection Agency”; two-hundred have been examined in some degree; five have been regulated. (All this according to the Post.) Let’s add it all up. The chemical companies create something in the lab, that something might very well be toxic, the EPA looks the other way, the things gets bought by us and may well lead to pollution, sickness and death. This has been the case for forty years, which establishes a criminal pattern. But instead of a Justice Department indictment, the polluters get a second crack at perfecting their situation?!

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So yes, the inmates are running the asylum. And they really must be crazy to run the risk of poisoning so many living beings with so many toxins. Thinking about the extent of the vast damage pollution-toxicity has caused truly boggles the mind. First of all there is the human toll. But then there is the fish, birds and animals, oceans lakes and rivers, the sky, the clouds, the soil and seeds. Anyone with eyes to see can tell these things are dying.

Sometimes I wonder that the world outside doesn’t seem to penetrate into the skyscrapers and the halls of Congress.

One can only hope something will wake these mad people up. It must be that power and money on that scale are of themselves toxic, in order to derange otherwise intelligent people so thoroughly.

Chris Veritas is the author of Wisdom Trilogy and New Poems. You can purchase it here, and read his op-eds here.

Check out more from Chris Veritas

This piece was featured on Natural Blaze as a contribution from the author. Chris Veritas writes informative pieces like this at Veritas Gazetteat his blog, and humorous satire news at Some Cry Wolf

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