December 3, 2005


[DHN Introduction: This is the final text of the Louisville Charter
for Safer Chemicals -- a document that represents a major
breakthrough in U.S. chemicals policy innovation AND an extremely
important indicator of the sophistication and depth of the grass-roots
movement for health and justice in the U.S. For background on the
Charter, look here. To keep abreast of new developments, check
here often. -- DHN Editors]

Fundamental reform to current chemical laws is necessary to protect
children, workers, communities, and the environment. We must shift
market and government actions to protect health and the natural
systems that support us. As a priority, we must act to phase out the
most dangerous chemicals, develop safer alternatives, protect high-
risk communities, and ensure that those responsible for creating
hazardous chemicals bear the full costs of correcting damages to our
health and the environment.

By designing new, safer chemicals, products, and production systems we
will protect people's health and create healthy, sustainable jobs.
Some leading companies are already on this path. They are creating
safe products and new jobs by using clean, innovative technologies.
But transforming entire markets will require policy change. A first
step to creating a safe and healthy global environment is a major
reform of our nation's chemicals policy. Any reform must:

Require Safer Substitutes and Solutions

Seek to eliminate the use and emissions of hazardous chemicals by
altering production processes, substituting safer chemicals,
redesigning products and systems, rewarding innovation and re-
examining product function. Safer substitution includes an obligation
on the part of the public and private sectors to invest in research
and development of sustainable chemicals, products, materials and

Phase Out Persistent, Bioaccumulative, or Highly Toxic Chemicals

Prioritize for elimination chemicals that are slow to degrade,
accumulate in our bodies or living organisms, or are highly hazardous
to humans or the environment. Ensure that chemicals eliminated in the
United States are not exported to other countries.

Give the Public and Workers the Full Right-to-Know and Participate

Provide meaningful involvement for the public and workers in decisions
on chemicals. Disclose chemicals and materials, list quantities of
chemicals produced, used, released, and exported, and provide
public/worker access to chemical hazard, use and exposure information.

Act on Early Warnings

Act with foresight. Prevent harm from new or existing chemicals when
credible evidence of harm exists, even when some uncertainty remains
regarding the exact nature and magnitude of the harm.

Require Comprehensive Safety Data for All Chemicals

For a chemical to remain on or be placed on the market manufacturers
must provide publicly available safety information about that
chemical. The information must be sufficient to permit a reasonable
evaluation of the safety of the chemical for human health and the
environment, including hazard, use and exposure information. This
isthe principle of "No Data, No Market."

Take Immediate Action to Protect Communities and Workers

When communities and workers are exposed to levels of chemicals that
pose a health hazard, immediate action is necessary to eliminate these
exposures. We must ensure that no population is disproportionately
burdened by chemicals.

Dates must be set for implementing each of these reforms. Together
these changes are a first step towards reforming a 30-year old
chemical management system that fails to protect public health and the
environment. By implementing the Louisville Charter and committing to
the innovation of safer chemicals and processes, governments and
corporations will be leading the way toward a healthier economy and a
healthier society.

Background Paper #1: Require Safer Substitutes and Solutions

Background Paper #2: Phase Out Persistent, Bioaccumulative, or Highly
Toxic Chemicals

Background Paper #3: Give the Public and Workers the Full Right-to-
Know and Participate

Background Paper #4: Act with Foresight

Background Paper #5: Require Comprehensive Safety Data for All

Background Paper #6: Take Immediate Action to Protect Communities and