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Friday, January 08, 2010

Pressure Builds to Make Secret Chemicals Known

The Washington Post reports lawmakers are facing pressure to make it more difficult for manufacturers to keep chemical compounds a secret. Under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, manufacturers must report new chemicals they intend to market to the federal government, but the law exempts from public disclosure any information that could be considered trade secrets. Practically speaking, that means 20 percent of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States are kept secret.

Critics, including the Obama administration, say consumers should know what toxic substances they might be exposed to. Congress is expected to rewrite chemical regulations this year.

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