Informing chemical safety policies

At Silent Spring, we provide decision-makers and partner organizations with independent scientific expertise to help inform chemical policies and regulations that better protect public health.
Capitol Hill

The U.S. has a history of stumbling from one tragic chemical mistake to the next. Examples include the widespread use of lead, asbestos, PCBs, flame retardants, and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which have resulted in large, costly, and prolonged public health crises. At Silent Spring, we are working to change that trajectory. To achieve that, legislators and other decision-makers need access to independent science. Most science in the environmental health arena is produced by industry; Silent Spring is one of the few environmental public health groups that is building a strong scientific case for making chemical regulations more health protective.

Examples of our work:

  • We submitted more than a dozen expert scientific comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its implementation of the Toxic Substances Control (TSCA) to help counter the chemical industry’s influence on EPA’s process to regulate chemicals.

  • Our in-person scientific testimony contributed to the decision by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to grant a petition to ban organohalogen flame retardants from upholstered furniture, mattresses, children’s products, and electronic casings sold in the U.S.

  • We are providing scientific expertise to the scientific advisory board (SAB) of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) as they consider listing PFASs as a class.

Not only are we working to put scientific evidence about chemicals and health on the record and ensure industry claims about chemical safety do not go unanswered, we are also working with other scientists, non-profit organizations, breast cancer activists, to ensure they have access to critical scientific knowledge as they push for stronger science-based protections for public health.

News & Updates

July
2019

New analysis calls into question effectiveness of fire safety regulations that lead to the use of hazardous chemicals in furniture.

February
2018

We continue to put EPA on notice by highlighting the impact of environmental chemicals on women’s health, specifically on breast cancer. Five of the first 10 chemicals EPA has prioritized for review under TSCA are mammary carcinogens.

September
2017

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted in favor of removing an entire class of flame retardants from children’s products, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and electronics, representing a victory for public health.

June
2017

EPA released the final rules for how the agency is going to regulate chemicals. However, the weakened rules raise concerns that EPA will not adequately regulate chemicals that could harm human health.