Poll: Toxic Chemical Reform Good for Business
American small business owners want the chemical industry to be held responsible for toxic chemicals in the marketplace, according to a new poll commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). Small business owners nationwide show strong support for stricter regulation of toxic chemicals. The October study examined the attitudes and opinions of 511 small business owners around the country.
"Organizations like the American Chemistry Council have made anti-regulation legislation in Congress and state legislatures a top priority, pushing the myth that all regulations are a threat to small business growth," said David Levine, Co-founder and CEO of ASBC. "But the reality is that small-business owners see the value of sound regulations to help guide the market to deliver innovation for safer chemicals and products, which consumers are demanding. This data shows that no matter what your political affiliation is, there is agreement that toxic chemicals need to be regulated to prevent risk for business and the public."
"Failure of adequate chemical transparency and regulation in the U.S. denies both manufacturers and consumers the ability to choose alternative materials and products. Consumer choice is the basis of free enterprise. More choices for consumers is better for everyone," said Ally Latourelle, VP of Government Affairs for BioAmber, based in Plymouth, Minnesota.
"Consumer confidence takes a dive when people learn that they are bringing dangerous chemicals into their homes, because there is no regulation. That's bad for business," said Andy Igrejas, Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. "This data shows that, like most Americans from across the political spectrum, small business owners believe that ensuring the health and safety of chemicals is good for our health and good for the health of our economy too."
The poll found:
• 75% support stricter regulations of chemicals used in everyday products.
• 87% support government regulations of chemicals used in growing food.
• 73% support government regulations to ensure the products companies buy and sell are non-toxic.
• 91% support chemical manufacturers being held responsible for ensuring their chemicals are safe.
• 76% support tax incentives for companies that innovate to provide safer chemicals.
• 92% support regulations to protect air and water from pollution by toxic chemicals.
• 78% support government regulations to reduce air pollutants linked to environmental and health problems.
The poll details may be found here.
The only significant chemicals legislation to pass the Environment and Public Works Committee this year was the Safe Chemicals Act. It is pending in the US Senate, though unlikely to receive a vote in the lame duck session. However, with Democrats retaining the Senate, Senator Lautenberg is in a strong position to move the legislation and plans to do so early in the new year. The bill has 27 co-sponsors, including most of the Senate leadership.
A petition for business owners urging Congress to update the 34-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act was started by ASBC. It can be found here.
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