The Maine Healthy Children’s Project and our friends at the Alliance for a delivered over 5,500, that's right over five thousand five hundred, messages to Senators Snowe and Collins yesterday... Thank you for helping us exceed our 5,000 messages goal!
We believe that parents have a right to know that the products we buy are safe for our families and that all children have a right to be safe in their homes. That is why the Maine Healthy Children's Project of the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine, with our friends from the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, delivered over 5,500 Messages to Senators Snowe and Collins asking them to co-sponsor the Federal Safe Chemicals Act (SCA) of 2011. (Again, a big THANK YOU to everyone who signed a postcard or the online petition. We could not of done it without you!)
As a mother of a 2 year old, this issue is one of my top priorities. At our press conference yesterday, I told reporters that Mainers demand safe products. “We’re here today because no child should be exposed to toxic chemicals in their homes, when they play with their favorite toys, or eat their favorite meals. Here in Maine we’ve seen moms, doctors, nurses, business owners, and legislators and many other heroes stand up to protect our kids from dangerous chemicals. Now we need Senators Snowe and Collins to be heroes in the US Senate.”
Why have this press event and deliver the messages this week? Because today, November 17th, was the first hearing of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, a bill sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg of NJ. The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held the first hearing on the Safe Chemicals Act this morning.
The SCA is our first chance in 35 years to fix the badly broken chemical safety laws. This is a BIG DEAL!!!
The Safe Chemicals Act would overhaul the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a 35-year-old law that is outdated and ineffective at protecting our health and giving businesses and consumers accurate information about chemicals used in everyday products. In the last 35 years, only 200 of over 80,000 commercial chemicals have been fully tested for health effects, and only 5 have ever been restricted, despite widespread scientific evidence of harm from many chemicals. TSCA is so badly broken that the Environmental Protection Agency could not even ban or restrict asbestos under this law!
The Safer Chemicals Act will require chemical companies to produce health and safety data on their chemicals. It will increase public information on chemicals and their health impacts; it will ensure that the federal government is using the best available science when doing research on chemicals; and it will support businesses that are innovating and developing safer chemicals, which will also be good for the economy.
Senators Snowe and Collins responded to our question regarding where THEY stand on this critical issue. Below are excerpts from their statements regarding TSCA and the Safe Chemicals Act.
Senator Snowe describes the current system as "broken" and states that "I agree we must reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to better reflect the scientific progress that has been achieved in the past 35 years, and assess high-risk chemicals in commerce ...."
Senator Collins states that “Americans have the right to know that the products they use and purchase are safe and free of hazardous toxins." In addition to recognizing that many people believe TSCA is "too outdated," she notes that even manufacturers “want the guidance of the federal government to help determine which chemicals are safe for use by consumers and in manufacturing processes...."
Here's the story that includes both Senators' responses (Look for the update underneath the story for Senator’s Snowe’s response).
Check out other news coverage of our event:
MPBN Radio Story (Click on “listen” for 11/16/11--that's November 16th--and go to the 1 minute 38 second mark.)
WVII TV (click on “Your Bangor News 11/16/11” (about ½ way down the page) and then scrolling to the 3 minute 54 second mark.
For more information on the Safe Chemicals Act.
The Maine Healthy Children's Project believes it is time that we protect the health of all families by getting toxic chemicals out of consumer products. We will keep you posted on the bill as it moves through Congress and share ways you can continue to make a difference.
Maine Healthy Children's Project Director
A Project of the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine