Science historian Jody A. Roberts has discovered flaws in original design and implementation of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As part of the project, Roberts and his colleagues conducted 14 in-depth interviews with people involved in conceiving, writing, and implementing TSCA. They included J. Clarence Davies, who drafted a first version of the policy as a staff member on the President's Council of Economic Quality, and Warren R. Muir, who was the first director of the Office of Toxic Substances at EPA. They found that regulating new chemicals was not the major motivation for developing TSCA. Instead, the law came out of concerns about the harmful effects of substances in wide circulation such as vinyl chloride, asbestos, and particularly polychlorinated biphenyls. The second flaw with TSCA is that unlike other environmental policies being written at the time, TSCA did not originate in the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW) but instead in what is now the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee.

Environment, Policy, Reform, TSCA

Everts, S. (2012). Jody Roberts: The science historian discovers flaws in original design and implementation of much-debated Toxic Substances Control Act.