Nearly 17,000 Chemicals Remain Corporate Secrets – Even The EPA Doesn’t Know What They Are

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By Ethan A. Huff for Natural News:

The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires that manufacturers of products containing potentially toxic chemicals disclose their ingredients to the federal government, however a loophole in the requirement allows manufacturers to arbitrarily withhold information that they deem sensitive to their business. As a result, over 17,000 product chemicals remain secret not only from the public but from government officials.

Each year, over 700 new chemicals are introduced by manufacturers, many of which do not get disclosed either to the public or to government agencies. About 95 percent of new chemical notices submitted to the government request some kind of secrecy. Critics allege that manufacturers are exploiting the original intent of TSCA, abusing it to hide sensitive information about ingredients that are likely toxic and may otherwise get banned.

For the first time in many years, Congress is addressing the issue of disclosure abuse with promises of reforming the regulatory provisions. Consumer and environmental groups, in conjunction with many government officials, are demanding that all ingredient information be made public with no exceptions.

Mike Walls, vice president of the American Chemistry Council, argues otherwise, insisting that public disclosure would reveal confidential information that could benefit competitors and hurt business. He believes that even the names and addresses of manufacturers should not have to be made public because competitors may trace the information and somehow figure out secret recipes.

According to EPA records, more than half of the 65 “substantial risk” reports submitted to agency last March involved secret chemicals. Of these, 151 of them are produced in quantities over one million tons a year and ten of them are used primarily in children’s products…

[continues at Natural News]

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