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

Finally, you should be appraised of the need for security and secrecy to research and develop products. In many, many instances, such security would be unattainable under Bill 270. The lack of privacy and security would strike the hardest at our great and large corporations which research and develop most of the new products which enhance our health and quality of living.

-
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.

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

[S]mall business today is struggling to swim upstream against today the constantly increasing current of restriction and regulation. I suggest that adding to this burden should be only done with the greatest of considerations for the benefits to be achieved, since each addition to the pressure will result in some businesses either giving up or changing their location.

-
President of the W.N. Stevenson Company and representative of the Northeastern Chemical Distributors Council.

We must all be aware of one very basic fact: all, absolutely all, chemicals are potentially toxic substances….The key, as I have previously stated, is the quantitative level, the concentration at which any chemical substance is present. Thus anything, I repeat anything, present in an excessive amount is a toxic substance. You cannot legislate against every conceivable chemical substance and therefore, the need for a truly meaningful definition for a toxic substance should be evident.

-
Richard Kiefer Jr., corporate safety director of the McCloskey Varnish Company.

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.