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Senate Democrats Push Passage Of Safe Chemicals Act [Video]

Senate Democrats Push Passage Of Safe Chemicals Act [Video]

On Tuesday almost one hundred mothers, fathers and children gathered at the Capitol to urge Congress to tighten regulations of harmful chemicals.

The Safe Chemicals Act, if passed by Congress, would create a new process to monitor toxic chemicals used in consumer products. These chemicals, specifically flame retardants, commonly found in furniture and baby products, have been linked to neurological defects, cancer, developmental problems and impaired fertility.

For years the chemical industry have claimed these chemicals save lives, but those claims are based on scant studies and activists note the chemicals to very little to protect consumers from fires.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) spoke passionately on the Senate floor about the need for such a measure. “As the mother of young children who are most vulnerable to chemical exposure, I’m particularly concerned about what chemicals affect them, their well-being and their development.”

Watch here.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill) is a sponsor of the bill and said he proposed it after reading a series in the Chicago Tribune detailing the risks posed by the chemicals. “We’re finding more and more babies and more and more children across America with these chemicals already in their bloodstream,” he said. “How did that happen? It happens every time you sit down on the couch…. When you sit down, you release this fine spray of toxic chemicals right in the face of your baby.”

As is stands, under current law the Environmental Protection Agency has limited powers to investigate the safety of chemicals. In fact, since the law passed in 1976 only four chemicals have been pulled from the market for safety reasons.

The new bill would require chemical manufacturers to provide safety information on all chemicals to the EPA and the public. The EPA would also be required to categorize chemicals by risk level. This is exactly the kind of leadership members of Congress should show when it comes to the safety of our children and our homes. Let’s hope Republicans understand that.

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Read more: , , , , ,

Photo from Spec-ta-cles via flickr.

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13 comments

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12:16AM PDT on May 27, 2012

Why use the structure of caffeine for the preview image of this story?

3:04AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Lets hope this is passed. It is so long overdue and so necessary.

8:31PM PDT on May 25, 2012

I can recall many years ago..a demand for fire retarding products, as, shortly after WW11, one of the downfall post traumatic stress triggers in war vets, included fear of fire. Additives were put to use, as demands for fire retardant products increased. The "fire safe" items became part of the common household environment. Factories made people happy by supplying them with what was considered a "safe" product. (ei: lead based paints were, at one time, considered the norm until later in years, discovered as being a deadly product) Only, with all intentions intact and following a long line of consumer demands through the industrial age, once more we retaliate with accusations, without the understanding of why these "now" caustic products were wanted to begin with. Humanity will alter their needs in accordance to what they deem safe for as long as we have a need to survive. "Buyer beware" does have it's merits, yet, I question weather or not the average person truly understands the connotations that are implied in this quote.

1:32PM PDT on May 25, 2012

No company / business should be making their customers sick, and dieing. How that was allowed is beyond me.

11:25AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Romney wants to kill the EPA

8:21AM PDT on May 25, 2012

FDA is only supposed to regulate Food and Drugs--not other consumer products or chemicals released into the environment.

5:31AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Pity they don't have the same concerns about the dangers posed by Montsanto's roundup pesticides and genetically modified seed which is a timebomb ticking away against health and food sustainability.

3:46AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Rethugs oppose this chemical safety legislation because it infringes on chemical companies' freedom to make people sick or dead.
Rethugs and teabaggers think the free market rather than the oppressive jackboot of government regulatory authority should police these matters and protect innocent people from the health-destroying effects of dangerous chemicals.

8:17AM PDT on May 24, 2012

thanks for the info

7:59AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Way to go Kirsten. Some decades ago Rep. Matt Rinaldi, of N.J. fought in congress for the safety of art supplies for those in that field, who were in close proximity to the chemicals required for their work. Children, often on the floor, and others need protection from additives, and the like, too.

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