Obama signs major overhaul of toxic chemicals rules into law

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed into law the first overhaul of toxic chemical rules in 40 years.

Obama is joined at a White House signing ceremony by lawmakers from both parties who supported the bill. He says for the first time in U.S. history, the country will be able to regulate chemicals effectively.

Obama says bipartisan agreement doesn’t happen often in Washington. He says that makes the law “a really significant piece of business.”

The president is thanking chemical industry groups for supporting the legislation. He says it will especially help people who are more vulnerable to chemicals, including children, pregnant women, the elderly and the poor.

The law standardizes what is currently a jumble of state rules governing the $800 billion-per-year industry.

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