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Congress Reaches Deal to Overhaul Chemical Regulation

Elk River
wikimedia Commons

House and Senate negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to set safety standards for tens of thousands of chemicals that have gone unregulated for decades.

The bill would offer new protections for pregnant women, children and workers who are vulnerable to the effects of chemicals such as formaldehyde and styrene used in homes and businesses every day. The bill also would tighten restrictions on asbestos and other deadly chemicals.

The agreement announced Thursday merges bills approved last year by the House and Senate.

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

Chemical regulation took on new urgency after a 2014 spill in West Virginia contaminated drinking water.

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