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

To me it is just damned incompetent to consider legislation without knowing what the cost is going to be. In business we couldn’t do this. We couldn’t have jobs if we ran our business that kind of way.

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Russell Hurst, president of VIZ Manufacturing Company. President of the W.N. Stevenson Company and representative of the Northeastern Chemical Distributors Council.

[The right-to-know law would be] harmful to the economy and not very helpful to the air.

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

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

[W]e all probably use salt, sodium chloride, on our food….Salt has been included in the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (published by NIOSH). The toxic dose of salt needed to kill half the test animals is about 1/8 ounce of salt for each 2.2 pounds of weight of the animal. Does this mean that the City of Philadelphia should regulate table salt?

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Roy. S. Anderson Ph.D’s testimony before the Philadelphia City Council.

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.