In May 2010, Rep. Markey introduced legislation that passed the House of Representatives as a part of the Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010 (AQUA Act) to establish a program to test whether chemicals found in drinking water are endocrine disruptors and the extent to which they may impact health. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that act like hormones in the body and are associated with increased rates of prostate cancer, birth defects and other chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes. The bill stalled in the Senate and was re-introduced by Rep. Markey in February 2011.
BPA and Triclosan:
In his ongoing work to protect consumers from toxic chemicals found in household products that are linked to a host of health problems, in three consecutive Congresses, Rep. Markey introduced legislation to ban the use of bisphenol A in food and beverage containers. Rep. Markey has also urged the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to close the regulatory gap that allows triclosan, a common antimicrobial ingredient linked to endocrine disruption, to continue to be incorporated into children's toys, food contact products and soap. As part of this oversight he wrote to thirteen major companies asking them to remove triclosan from consumer soaps, toys and products that come into contact with food.
* Consumer Risk of Triclosan and Timeline of Rep. Markey's Work
Rep. Markey co-authored with Rep. Schakowsky and Rep. Baldwin legislation to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that all ingredients that are used are fully disclosed to consumers. The bill was introduced in July 2010 and quickly garnered support from the public and co-sponsorship by an additional 20 Representatives.