“Chemicals policy is a broad term, which encompasses a large number of elements, including:
- Regulatory and voluntary measures, such as those that: obtain information on the properties and uses of chemicals substances; ensure information is transmitted to users of the chemicals; restrict certain chemicals or uses; or stimulate substitution of problem substances;
- Policies within companies for determining what chemicals are used, and how they are used;
- Fiscal policies, such as taxes on certain substances and financial responsibility measures;
- Educational and labeling initiatives; and
- Research, development, and technical support for safer chemicals and products.”
Learn more from the Chemicals Policy & Science Initiative (external link) of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts, Lowell. This website includes a searchable database of state-level chemical policy legislation.
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program supports:
- Local and State level chemicals policy reforms that:
- Encourage toxic material use reduction;
- Increase information availability of the chemicals in products, and related health and safety data;
- Facilitate the purchasing of less toxic alternatives;
- Promote green chemistry - the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances; and,
- Promote extended producer responsibility for end of life management of toxics in consumer products.
- EPA’s Essential Principles (external link) for Reform of Chemicals Management Legislation
- Principle No. 1: Chemicals Should Be Reviewed Against Safety Standards That Are Based on Sound Science and Reflect Risk-based Criteria Protective of Human Health and the Environment;
- Principle No. 2: Manufacturers Should Provide EPA With the Necessary Information to Conclude That New and Existing Chemicals Are Safe and Do Not Endanger Public Health or the Environment;
- Principle No. 3: Risk Management Decisions Should Take into Account Sensitive Subpopulations, Cost, Availability of Substitutes and Other Relevant Considerations;
- Principle No. 4: Manufacturers and EPA Should Assess and Act on Priority Chemicals, Both Existing and New, in a Timely Manner;
- Principle No. 5: Green Chemistry Should Be Encouraged and Provisions Assuring Transparency and Public Access to Information Should Be Strengthened; and
- Principle No. 6: EPA Should Be Given a Sustained Source of Funding for Implementation.
Position Statements on Chemicals Policy Reform
The following policy statements are aligned with the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program's interest in improving our chemicals policies to better protect human health and the environment by reducing exposures to toxic chemicals and the generation of hazardous wastes.
Chemicals Policy Laws & Regulations