President signs historic laws regulating chemicals and cancer cluster investigations


It's official. President Obama signed into law new legislation to better regulate toxic chemicals and cancer cluster investigations.

At a White House ceremony Wednesday, President Obama applauded lawmakers for the historic changes.

The new Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century allows the EPA to ban chemicals in everyday products and creates new standards for investigating suspected cancer clusters.

Last November, 13 Investigates found 30 children diagnosed with blood and brain cancers living within a 25 mile radius of Franklin in Johnson County. State health officials investigated and found no cancer cluster, but admitted the State's data was lagging.

Under the new federal guidelines, which include a provision called "Trevor's Law," all States will now have to follow the same protocol for investigating and tracking cancer clusters.

President Obama called the chemical safety act a big deal across the board.

"I am absolutely confident we can regulate toxic chemicals in a way that's both good for our families and ultimately our businesses and our economy," said the President.

Indiana lawmakers also took action to improve cancer cluster investigations. Indiana health investigators will soon be allowed to use State cancer registry data, something it could not do during its review of Johnson County last year. The new State law takes effect July 1.

New state, federal guidelines for cancer cluster investigations (June 6)
Johnson County moms of children with cancer push for change in Congress (March 3)
Franklin families discover girls diagnosed with cancer lived in same apartment (Dec. 3, 2015)
State health leaders: No cancer cluster in Johnson County (Nov. 30, 2015)
13 Investigates identifies more cancer cases in Johnson County (Nov. 19, 2015)
13 Investigates childhood cancer rates in Johnson County (Nov. 16, 2015)