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

[The right-to-know law is] a sop to a small group of people that I would call ‘overreactors’ I know it’s going to cost a business a helluva lot of money.

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

You are going to ruin our business. And I think that’s pretty serious.

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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 bill produces no protection for legitimate industry trade secrets, the disclosure of which would not be necessary to protect health or the environment.

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Robert Vogel, chief regulatory counsel of the Rohm and Haas Company.

[The right-to-know bill would be] a serious case of overkill….[and] would make it very difficult to maintain a business in the city of Philadelphia.

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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.