Toxicology is a branch of study that concerns the effects or adverse impacts of a number of toxins and chemicals used in our daily lives. These toxins are inseparable from the chemical, biological and very importantly, pharmacological uses of these substances. This is why utmost care has to be taken to ensure that a substance such as a drug or any other kind of material used for a number of lifesaving purposes does not cause harm due to their adverse effects.
To ensure scientific precision in their use and to make sure that no harm is done to humans and animals by their improper use; the federal government has enacted a series of regulations. These Occupational Toxicology Regulations have been promulgated in all the disciplines in which toxicology is a part.
These Occupational Toxicology Regulations, since they have been enacted from time to time and cover a vast expanse of areas, are numerous and complex. What is more; they keep changing and getting updated from time to time. A small look at the prominent Occupational Toxicology Regulations that deals with chemicals and toxins in one or another form, in force in the US:
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): This Occupational Toxicology Regulation was passed to give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to evaluate the toxic effect of our daily activities such as driving, consuming drugs and so on.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): This is a very important legislation that was passed with the intention of focusing on the environmental aspect of toxicology. It gained strength as an Occupational Toxicology Regulation in the 1970's, and deals with the safe use of pesticides and chemical mixtures.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): This 1976 Act and its twin, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), or "Superfund" of 1980, deal with the potential of industrial chemical exposure to arrive at the point of release.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA):This part of Occupational Toxicology Regulations deals with how to deal with hazardous waste that was not covered by the RCRA.
The Clean Air Act: Passed as back as 1955, the Clean Air Act is an Occupational Toxicology Regulation that seeks to regulate the accumulated impact of chemicals at specific points taking the sensitivities of the most susceptible sections of the population, and analyze the way these chemicals interact with others in the environment.
The Clean Water Act: The Clean Water Act: This Occupational Toxicology Regulation came into force after bitter incidents like the Cuyahoga River fire and the James River Kepone incidents. It seeks to assess, regulate and correct the chemical levels present in potable and other kinds of water.
Safe Drinking Water Act: This 1974 Act, which has had amendments in 1986 and ten years later, primarily deals with the safety of groundwater and other surface-level sources of water and seeks to set limits on the chemicals present in these sources.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA): The EPCRA deals with various forms of emergency preparedness, toxic chemical release being one of them.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act:Primarily enacted to ensure safety at the workplace; OSHA has prominent Occupational Toxicology Regulations on how to make risk assessments while dealing with chemicals at the workplace.
The Atomic Energy Act (AEA): Passed originally in 1946 and modified in 1954 and in 2003 when it was rechristened as the Nuclear Infrastructure Security Act by the 108th US Congress; the Atomic Energy Act is the cornerstone of US regulations on atomic energy in both civilian and military uses. A substantial portion is devoted to Occupational Toxicology Regulation.
The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: This Act was paved the way for the establishment of the FDA. It has considerable references to Occupational Toxicology.