Building better chemical regulations for a better future

ExxonMobil encourages greater public confidence in product safety by actively supporting the American Chemistry Council’s call for TSCA modernization, an initiative that increases public access to information on chemicals.

Article Sept. 19, 2018

Building better chemical regulations for a better future

On June 22, 2016, the president signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA). The act modernizes the primary law overseeing the safety of chemical products — the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to review and regulate chemicals in commerce.

TSCA was designed to ensure that products are safe for intended use. While the law created a robust system of regulations, over time, confidence in the EPA’s regulation of chemicals eroded. This lack of confidence created pressure on individual state legislatures to create their own chemicals management laws and on retailers to remove products from the shelves, often based on hazard-only claims rather than scientific, risk-based assessments integrating hazard, use and exposure information.

As a result, the regulatory landscape and marketplace have become fractured and even contradictory in some cases. After decades of implementation, industry advocated that TSCA needed updating to reflect advances in science and technology, as well as today’s public expectations of vigorous government oversight.

ExxonMobil working through the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and other trades groups, successfully advanced regulatory changes that will enhance the TSCA process in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

ExxonMobil actively supported the American Chemistry Council’s call for TSCA modernization based on industry principles which have been incorporated into the new law:

  • The EPA has the responsibility for making safe use determinations for high priority chemicals.
  • Safe use determinations should integrate hazard, use and exposure information. Decisions based only on hazard characteristics are not good public policy.
  • Enhancements should be cost and resource efficient.
  • Companies and the EPA should work together to increase public access to health and safety information to enhance confidence in the safety of chemicals.
  • A modernized TSCA should encourage technological innovation and a globally competitive industry in the United States.

In addition, the LCSA provides for a uniform national system of chemical regulation that preempts state and local action which is required to facilitate interstate commerce and avoid a continued patchwork of state and local regulations that add significant cost to U.S. producers.

The business of chemistry employs nearly 800,000 in the U.S. and supports an additional 7 million related jobs. The industry creates the raw materials and products that are used to produce 96 percent of all manufactured goods and is an $812 billion enterprise — vital to the nation’s economy.

ExxonMobil’s support of modernizing the TSCA statute is aligned with our commitment to being good product stewards and to increase public access to information on chemicals in an effort to provide greater public confidence in product safety. ExxonMobil will continue to work closely with the American Chemistry Council as the LCSA advances through the regulatory process.

Learn more at the American Chemistry Council’s site.

Related content

Donations by the gallon: A new solution from Louisiana

When the technicians, engineers and scientists at ExxonMobil’s manufacturing facilities in Baton Rouge and Port Allen, Louisiana, heard about the urgent need for sanitization products for the COVID-19 pandemic response, they quickly started to think about how they could help.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 24, 2020

A rapid response to protect travelers and frontline TSA officers

To protect travelers and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers during the COVID-19 pandemic, TSA needed thousands of gallons of disinfectant – and they needed it quickly.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 17, 2020

A new collaboration to fight COVID-19

When it comes to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t matter the size of the company. Everyone has a role to play.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 6, 2020

Helping doctors and nurses breathe safely

Today, health care workers are faced with a scarcity of protective face masks and shields, and the supply chains to produce them are taxed to their limits.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 2, 2020

Mask ambition

A chance Facebook friendship between an Atlanta-based physician and a digital transformation expert from ExxonMobil could help unlock a wave of medical masks that health care workers need to help treat patients with COVID-19.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 2, 2020

Producing solutions for frontline professionals

ExxonMobil is maximizing its production of the high-performance polymers used to make face masks, surgical gowns and other critical medical supplies for those treating patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Advanced chemical products Energy Factor April 1, 2020