AAP: Chemical Management Policy Needs Revision

American Academy of Pediatrics says change needed to better protect pregnant women, children

MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Stating that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 has failed to protect children, pregnant women, and others from marketplace exposure to harmful chemicals, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends current U.S. chemical management policy be revised, according to a policy report published online April 25 in Pediatrics.

Jerome A. Paulson, M.D., and colleagues on the AAP's Council on Environmental Health, note that since the TSCA was passed, it has been used to regulate only five chemicals or chemical classes out of tens of thousands in commerce. They write that the act does not take into account the special vulnerabilities of children.

According to the report, the TSCA does not hold manufacturers responsible for premarket testing or follow-up and actually dissuades manufacturers from providing data on such activities. The authors write that the country's chemical management policy must be revised to hold companies responsible for developing information about chemicals before marketing them. In addition, they write that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must be given authority to demand safety data on a chemical and to limit or even end the marketing of a chemical it suspects may be harmful to pregnant women, children, or others.

"Pediatricians should advocate for chemical policies that consider the special vulnerabilities of children and pregnant women. The American Academy of Pediatrics, through its chapters, committees, councils, sections, and staff, can provide information and support for public policy advocacy efforts," the authors write.

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