Understanding the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Get Free Mesothelioma Guide

Navigating the Toxic Substances Control Act

In 1976, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was granted authority to track all record-keeping, testing requirements, and restrictions on chemical substances under the The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This law was passed by the 94th United States Congress and remains in effect today. Although this law is still active, Americans everywhere could have been unknowingly exposed to harmful chemicals which could be found in commercially manufactured products and structures at that time. This exposure has affected people’s health and well-being. At Mesothelioma Hub, we understand how difficult it is to deal with exposure related health issues, especially those stemming from toxic substances, such as asbestos exposure. But how is this related to the TSCA? Well, in the following article, we will tell you just that by diving in head first into the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and explore its role in chemical and asbestos regulation.

Chemicals Regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act

Although the United States no longer makes PCBs, citizens and visitors everywhere can still be exposed. The TSCA monitors the importation, production, and disposal of toxic substances such as asbestos, to protect people from carcinogen caused diseases like mesothelioma. As individuals navigating the complexities of health challenges stemming from exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos, it’s best to be well informed and obtain accurate resources which could mean all the difference in how you approach a diagnosis or health issue.

The following substances have been linked to causing cancer, immune effects, reproductive effects, neurological effects, and endocrine effects. The public’s health depends on properly regulating all substances. The Act’s complex framework assesses all necessary information on new and existing substances and regulates any substances at risk to the public and environment. By issuing set guidelines, the Toxic Substances Control Act manages all toxic substances which then adds a layer of protection from workers who may have to handle such substances. The TSCA pays special attention to six harmful substances:

  • PCBs
  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Formaldehyde

TSCA’s Plan for Managing Toxic Substances

Congress has added additional titles to the Act to address and mitigate all risks. The Toxic Substances Control Act requires companies to test chemicals to identify any toxic risks or effects and report them to the EPA. The EPA enforces criminal penalties on any violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act and uses the Notice of Non-Compliance (NON) or Notice of Violation (NOV) to inform a facility that has violated the Act. Companies must place hazard warning labels on toxic substances, and at times ban certain chemicals, such as asbestos products. The Toxic Substances Control Act functions as a symphony, orchestrating key regulation tasks so they can address and monitor harmful chemicals such as:

  • Overseeing the importation of chemicals
  • Commercial purpose chemical research
  • Tracking any reactions discovered during chemical testing.

Starting in 1981, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its first two polychlorinated biphenyls disposal facilities. The facilities are equipped to safely dispose of high concentrations of PCBs since they cannot break down themselves once in the environment. Changes have been made in response to the Toxic Substances Control Act over the years. As research progresses, the EPA has been able to identify large exposure areas, such as PCBs and asbestos-containing materials used in many school building structures. PCB concentrations can be found in everyday products such as:

  • Plastics
  • Floor Finish
  • Fluorescent Lights
  • Motor Oils

EPA’s Essential Components of the TSCA

A year later in 1982, the EPA announced that all public and private schools are required to identify any asbestos-containing materials. Breathing in asbestos fibers is dangerous to your health, and over time can cause scarring and inflammation. This new announcement permits employees and parents to be notified if any friable asbestos is found in their building and provides supplies information about reducing asbestos exposure. This issue is still prevalent today as just last year, Mesothelioma Hub put together a recap of important stories and resources for the students, staff, and parents who were affected by PCB and asbestos exposure in their city. By informing those exposed who may not ordinarily know they were exposed, people are able to watch for specific symptoms and move to receive early screenings for mesothelioma or lung cancer. Although the EPA used the Technical Assistance Program to help school districts recognize and adjust any potential asbestos hazards, the message was not properly conveyed, and many people were still unaware of asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

As more mesothelioma cases were being diagnosed, President Reagan signed into law the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act in 1986. This act was designed to protect 15 million students and 1.4 million employees potentially exposed to friable-asbestos material. The Act required the EPA to develop a regulatory framework all schools can use to inspect their buildings for asbestos, and lays out all appropriate measures to take if friable asbestos is found.

Inhaling friable asbestos can harm your throat and lungs, and at times lead to mesothelioma. Most people exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma, but for some, it can take decades to develop depending on your level of exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos it is recommended to conduct regular imaging scans so you can spot early signs of mesothelioma.

Asbestos causes latent mesothelioma. Think you were exposed? Request a case evaluation to pinpoint the cause and who’s responsible.
Evaluate My Case

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2021-2024 Strategic Roadmap

EPA’s 2021-2024 Strategic Roadmap approach combats the risk of chemicals on the environment and public health through research, restrictions, and remediation. They cannot eliminate long-lasting chemicals, but they reduce exposure to them. The most current update lays out a plan with set dates for action and enforces new policies over PFAS, prioritizing disadvantaged communities. The EPA invests in scientific research so they can fully understand the lifecycle of PFAS, consider their unique properties, what they are used for, and paths of exposure. This allows the EPA to find preventable ways to stop them from ever entering the environment. Polluters will be held responsible for their actions with the new roadmap.

Even as research continues to develop and awareness about the dangers continue to spread, many people will sadly still be exposed to harmful life-altering chemicals. The Toxic Substances Control Act is continually developing its current framework to address per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). PFAS are long-lasting chemicals unable to break down once in the environment. Thousands of PFAS are linked to harmful health effects, so it is almost impossible to assess every risk. Researchers study PFAS over a long period to better understand all effects stemming from exposure to them. PFAS can be found in:

  • Water
  • Air
  • Fish
  • Soil

Finding Expert Advice About the Toxic Substances Control Act

Although the EPA has improved the regulation of asbestos, PFAS, PCBS, and other toxic substances through the Toxic Substances Control Act, there are still thousands of chemicals in consumer, commercial, and industrial products. High exposure levels of toxic chemicals can lead to a plethora of health issues, including developing mesothelioma. If you or a loved one is suffering from Mesothelioma, and are in search of medical resources and legal support, visit our site today.  Mesothelioma Hub is dedicated to helping you find the information, support, and advice you need about toxic chemical exposure, such as asbestos. As one of the top mesothelioma law firms in the country, we will support you every step of the way, from connecting you to nationwide treatment centers to helping you obtain legal compensation for asbestos-related mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Support Team

Mesothelioma Hub is dedicated to helping you find information, support, and advice. Reach out any time!