More than 60,000 chemicals (excluding pharmaceuticals or pesticides) enter into the many products and services that shape today's life-styles. Taken together, these chemicals compromise a huge industry -- in the United States alone, sales during 1990 were over $200 billion. The sheer variety, ubiquity, and economic importance of chemicals means that effective regulation to safeguard against undesirable health or environmental side effects is quite challenging.
Traditionally, regulation to bring about these safeguards has taken the form of "command and control" -- that is, banning or restricting the production or use of a chemical, requiring the substance to be reformulated, mandating recycling of the substance when exposure occurs during disposal, or otherwise restricting its use and distribution.1 For example, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) prohibits the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) because of evidence that they pose a significant risk to public health and the environment.2 Similarly under TSCA, most uses of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as aerosol propellants have been banned because CFCs may deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, which could lead to an increase in skin cancer, cataracts, and other adverse health and ecological effects.
TSCA is almost unique among environmental regulations in requiring that economic considerations be explicitly included in any actions taken under the act. Among the other six major statutes under____________________