House approves bipartisan chemical regulation bill providing first update in 4 decades

IndustrialsAssociated Press

The House has approved a bipartisan bill to update regulation of harmful chemicals for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Both the House bill and a similar measure in the Senate would set safety standards for tens of thousands of chemicals that now are unregulated. The bills also would offer protections for people, such as pregnant women, children and workers, who are vulnerable to the effects of chemicals, and set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to act.

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If enacted into law, the bill would be the first significant update to Toxic Substances Control Act since the law was adopted in 1976.

The bill's main sponsor, Republican congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, says it would protect people from unsafe chemicals while setting reasonable standards for regulation.