Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act

Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Philadelphia Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act requires employers that use any of 450 chemical substances to file Material Safety Data Sheets with various local government agencies. (An additional list of 99 chemicals will trigger the filing requirement if they are emitted from the workplace.) Material Safety Data Sheets must be made available to the public, upon request, through the governmental agencies where they are filed. Containers of these chemicals must be clearly labeled. (This was the first municipal right-to-know law.)

Cry Wolf Quotes

It is a bad bill based on undemonstrated premises. It will accomplish nothing constructive in Public Health value, but rather will do a great deal of harm to the City’s business and commerce, and most importantly, its economy.

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Thacher Longstreth, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and former Republican city councilman

[T]he expansion of government’s role in the marketplace has, in many cases, impaired the performance of our economy…That the trend toward accelerating inflation has been aggravated by the expansion of government expenditure programs…and by regulatory policies that reduce productivity.

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Anthony F. Visco, Senior Vice President of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

[I]t is conceivable that this trade secret data would be considered so valuable that a company would elect not to do business in Philadelphia rather than disclose it and so I have detailed our concerns on the issue of confidentiality.

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Robert P. Vogel of Rohm and Haas Chemical Company

The moment you get either people or lawyers apprised of the fact that a company has a toxic material on their premises, they’re going to bring a lawsuit.

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Thacher Longstreth president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and former Republican city councilman.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Dying To Know: A Historical Analysis of the Right-To-Know Movement

This survey provides a sweeping analysis of the right-to-know movement in America.