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The Politics of PrecautionRegulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States$
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David Vogel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691124162

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691124162.001.0001

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Chemicals and Hazardous Substances

Chemicals and Hazardous Substances

(p.153) Chapter Five Chemicals and Hazardous Substances
The Politics of Precaution

David Vogel

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at American and European policies toward the risks of chemicals and hazardous substances. The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) significantly strengthened American chemical regulations and contributed to the 1979 decision of the EU to both harmonize and strengthen its chemical regulations, though they remained weaker than those of the United States. While there has been no major statutory change in American chemical regulation since then, in 2006 the EU approved REACH—the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, which made European chemical regulations significantly more stringent and comprehensive than those of the United States. Meanwhile, risk assessments by the U.S. federal government do not consider the hazardous substances in electronics deposited in landfills as a threat to public health.

Keywords:   chemicals, hazardous substances, American chemical regulations, Toxic Substances Control Act 1976, European chemical regulations, REACH, risk assessments

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