National Chemicals Policy

Arctic Alaska

Although a number of laws and agencies govern the manufacture, sale and use of chemicals in the U.S., much has changed since these laws were first enacted. Chemicals have become more pervasive in daily life and scientists have developed a more complex understanding of how people are exposed to chemicals and how such exposures can contribute to serious illness, including cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological diseases, and asthma.

Currently, our policies fail to adequately protect public health and the environment. Tens of thousands of chemicals found in our homes, places of work, and products we use every day remain on the market untested. Industrial chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides continue to contaminate our air, water, and food despite attempts to regulate industry to prevent these contaminants from entering the environment. Federal agencies including the EPA and FDA are hampered in their ability to serve the public interest because current law allows chemical manufacturers too much authority to regulate themselves.

Alaska Community Action on Toxics supports comprehensive federal chemicals policy reform that includes phasing out the most dangerous chemicals on the market today, community right-to-know provisions, and protection for vulnerable populations. We highlight current research showing the persistence and bioaccumulation of pollutants in the Arctic and we advocate for environmental health and justice for Arctic Indigenous peoples who bear a disproportionate burden of exposure to these global contaminants.

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, 2009. The Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act.