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Toxics Reform Bill Debuts in Senate

Toxics Reform Bill Debuts in Senate

Montana Senators Cosponsor Bill to Protect Kids and Families

For Immediate Release:
April 10th, 2013

Jamie McConnell, Women’s Voices for the Earth, 406-543-3747
Sarah Cobler, Montana Conservation Voters, 406-581-2284

MISSOULA, MT – Today Montana’s Senators Baucus and Tester joined 25 other U.S. Senators introducing the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013. 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.

With toxics turning up in furniture, soup cans, baby lotion and thousands of other products, the bill is viewed as essential by some of the nation’s top health and environment groups. The 37-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act that is currently in place is riddled with loopholes that permit harmful ingredients into every corner of the home.

“Our cabinets and cupboards are filled with products containing toxic substances that are dangerous and it’s absolutely preventable” said Chantel Scheiffer, Bozeman mom and board member for Montana Conservation Voters. “Our senators are champions for kids and families in Montana, and it is time for Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act.”

The Safe Chemicals Act 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.
  • Provide incentives to grow the green chemistry industry.

“Hundreds of chemicals are drifting unchecked into our bodies, chemicals that are strongly linked to a whole host of diseases including asthma, autism, and cancer.  When you look at the numbers of how these diseases have been on a steady rise over the last several decades, it raises questions.  As a nurse, you have to ask yourself, how many fewer patients would walk through our doors if we weren’t constantly exposed to toxic chemicals in everyday products?” said Kelli Barber, co-chair of the Nurses Workgroup for Health Care Without Harm.

Hundreds of Montanans across the state have spoken up for safer chemicals by emailing, writing letters and signing petitions urging Senators Baucus and Tester to support strengthening chemical policy laws in the U.S.

“This is an issue that is very important to women in Montana and we’re pleased that Senators Baucus and Tester have responded to their concerns,” said Jamie McConnell, director of programs and policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth.

Several groups in Montana support passing stronger chemical policies including: Health Care Without Harm, Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund and Women’s Voices for the Earth. https://womensvoices.org/campaigns/safe-chemicals/

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