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Fighting Environmental Racism

WHEREAS, the NAACP has a long history of fighting environmental racism; and

WHEREAS, many of the environmental health hazards located disproportionately in communities of color result from outdated and ineffective federal chemical policy; and

WHEREAS, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 is the only major environmental law that has never been updated since its inception; and

WHEREAS, the Toxic Substances Control Act does not require toxicological testing of chemicals before they are used in commerce, therefore many toxic chemicals are in use unnecessarily today; and

WHEREAS, there are 82,000 chemicals registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as potentially used in consumer products in the United States, these, EPA has only been able to require health and safety data on 200 of the 62,000 chemicals grandfathered in under this 35 year old law, and has been able to restrict the use of only five chemicals; and

WHEREAS, African American, Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian American/Pacific Islander communities, as well as, low income white communities are disproportionally impacted by health effects from chemical exposure during production use, disposal and post-use legacy exposure to toxic chemicals.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP support comprehensive reform of national chemical policy to require toxicological assessment of all chemicals and to require that they meet a health-based safety standard before being allowed into commerce; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports a chemical policy that allows identification of geographically based chemical "hotpots" for priority in a focused reduction of toxic chemical exposure in air, water and on land.