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The Washington Post news story, "Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law"

posted Jan 4, 2010, 7:48 AM by Nancy Swan   [ updated Feb 1, 2011, 1:29 PM by Thomas Swan ]
The policy was designed 33 years ago to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics -- including the Obama administration -- say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to.

Under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, manufacturers must report to the federal government new chemicals they intend to market. But the law exempts from public disclosure any information that could harm their bottom line.