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ACC Responds to Confidential Business Information Claims

Tiffany Harrington (703) 741-5583
January 4, 2010

ARLINGTON, VA (January 4, 2010) – In response to claims today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and an article in the Washington Post, erroneously implying that chemical manufacturers can place “secret” products on the market, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) reaffirmed that “chemical safety is a paramount consideration in chemical manufacturing and use; and, for this reason, health and safety information on chemical products should never be considered confidential.”

“Our industry is committed to safety in chemical use under a robust regulatory system—one that promotes public confidence in chemical management and supports innovation and U.S. jobs.  We recognize that the current system isn’t perfect, which is why we are helping lead the efforts to reform the way chemicals are managed in commerce.  But reforms should be made without sacrificing American jobs and global competiveness,” said Mike Walls, ACC Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs.  “There are no ‘secret’ chemicals on the market.  In those cases where a specific chemical identity has been claimed confidential—in order to protect the significant investment of time, money and human resources that went into the research and development process—the manufacturing and use of that substance must always fully comply with the requirements of the law. “

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), producers and importers must gain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval before a new chemical substance can enter the U.S. market.  The law and EPA’s regulations permit the specific chemical identity to be recognized as confidential business information (CBI) when appropriate to protect legitimate commercial interests, and in those cases the Agency requires that generic identifying information be provided.  Balanced confidentiality laws help protect the trade secrets that foster innovation and create jobs.  Most importantly, the law requires EPA to disclose CBI if there are significant risks to health and the environment. 

“ACC supports enhancements to TSCA addressing concerns about confidential business information, and giving EPA the authority to share this information as appropriate.  We also believe TSCA reforms need to leverage the significant technological and scientific advancements made over the last 30 years, while protecting American innovation and jobs,” Walls concluded.

Learn more about TSCA.

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