Safe Chemicals Act would protect children and the Great Lakes

Michigan Coalition of health and environmental groups applaud today’s bill introduction and urge Michigan Senators to co-sponsor
 

In a major step forward for the Great Lakes and children's health, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 was introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and 27 other senators today (April 10). The legislation would provide long-overdue fixes to the nation’s broken chemical policies and limit the use of unsafe chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses.

Toxic chemicals in furniture, children’s products like car seats, and thousands of other consumer products can expose workers and consumers, and eventually can end up in the Great Lakes. The 37-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act that currently regulates industrial chemicals is riddled with loopholes that permit harmful chemicals to get into everyday products, our homes, and the environment.

“The Toxic Substance Control Act has failed to protect us from exposure to hazardous chemicals. Children are more vulnerable to these chemicals than adults, so we are really failing children if we don't take action,” said Rebecca Meuninck, environmental health campaign director for the Ecology Center and the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health.  “We applaud the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act and urge Senators Levin and Stabenow to co-sponsor this bill and demonstrate their support for protecting public health and the Great Lakes.”

Polling done in Michigan has demonstrated strong bi-partisan support for chemicals policy reform and found an overwhelming 92% of Michiganders are concerned about the health effects of toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes. 

“Americans across the political spectrum have woken up to the fact that unregulated toxic chemicals get into their homes and their bodies,” said Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Health Families — a coalition of 450 health, environmental and business groups. “It is uniformly unnerving. The Safe Chemicals Act would establish common sense limits on these chemicals that are broadly popular and long overdue.” 

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 would go a long way toward protecting Americans from chemicals that are linked to reproductive and developmental disorders, cancers and other illnesses that are costly to treat and often preventable. Specifically, it would:

  • Require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and restrict the "worst of the worst" chemicals.
  • Require basic health and safety information for chemicals.
  • Upgrade scientific methods for assessing chemical safety.
  • Arm the EPA with the authority it needs to restrict chemicals that pose health and environmental concerns.

For more information, contact: Rebecca Meuninck, 734-369-9278, Rebecca@ecocenter.org

Published on April 10, 2013