Purpose

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (1992, 15 USC §§2601-2654) was enacted in 1976 as the first major federal law governing toxic substances. The purpose of the TSCA is to understand the health risks of certain chemical substances by developing production and health risk data from the manufacturers of the chemicals and chemical products.

In developing the TSCA, Congress had the following three policy objectives:

1. To require industry to develop data on the effect of chemical substances and mixtures on health and the environment

2. To assure that adequate authority exists to regulate chemical substances

3. To assure that this authority not "impede unduly or create unnecessary economic barriers to technological innovation" in the manufacture of chemicals (TSCA §2[b], 15 USC §2601[b])

Thus, the TSCA is described as a risk/benefit-balancing statute.

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