Support Safe Chemicals Act
To the Editor:
I am a mother and a grandmother who works in the field of community health.
In my work, I see people trying their best to make healthy choices for their families, just as I do for mine. Unfortunately, this is not always easy.
Many people are unaware that some of the chemicals that are used in everyday products can actually hurt our health in very serious ways. Chemicals in furniture, flooring, appliances, and even toys, have been linked to serious health problems, like cancer and reproductive disorders.
Others have been linked to learning and behavioral disabilities. Maine legislators have been working hard to protect state laws that protect our kids from harmful chemicals in everyday products.
Maine's recent phase-out of the carcinogen BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups is a good example of this. However, there is a bigger problem at the federal level - the law that should protect everyone from toxic chemicals in our products doesn't work. This law was passed in 1976, and has never been updated.
Federal law currently allows for any of over 80,000 chemicals to be used in our products, with almost none of them being tested for safety. This puts our kids and our communities at risk for a whole host of health problems.
A bill was introduced this April called the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S847). If passed, the Safe Chemicals Act would:
* Fix the broken federal chemicals safety system;
* Call for immediate action on the most dangerous chemicals;
* Protect the good laws we've passed in Maine from federal pre-emption.
Please join me in asking Senator Collins and Senator Snowe to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. Mainers should be proud of our bipartisan work to protect kids' health, and our senators should be leaders in sponsoring Maine-style, commonsense laws at the federal level.