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About The Alliance
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We believe that all Maine people have a right to a healthy environment where we live, work and play.
We envision a future free of exposure to harmful chemicals in our air, water or food.
We want our children to grow up healthy with every opportunity to thrive.
We seek to build a healthy economy that provides good jobs producing clean products and services.
We are proud of all that’s been accomplished so far toward a clean and healthy Maine.

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This report is a collaborative effort of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, a campaign dedicated to protecting American families from toxic chemicals. The report incorporates a significant body of peer-reviewed science on chemicals and health. Download the report.

 

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 News and Events
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Hazard List is First Step in Drive for Safer Products under
Maine’s First-in-Nation Safer Chemicals Law to Protect Children’s Health

July 17, 2009

Statement of Michael Belliveau, Executive Director
Environmental Health Strategy Center


“We applaud the Maine Legislature and Governor Baldacci for blazing the path for safer chemicals and healthy families!  Today’s listing of over 1,700 Chemicals of High Concern should send a signal to manufacturers and the market that these chemicals should not be used in products.  Hundreds of these chemicals, known to wreak havoc on our hormone systems and cause cancer and learning disabilities are in the products used by Maine families everyday and concern is building among the public about the long-term effects on our health.

Parents demand assurance that the products we buy for our families are safe.  Maine should act swiftly to replace these Chemicals of High Concern with safer alternatives, but states cannot be expected to solve this major public health threat alone.  We need Congress to act now to fix our broken federal chemical safety system.”

The Environmental Health Strategy Center is a Maine-based public health organization working to phase out the use of harmful chemicals in favor of safer alternatives.  Online at www.preventharm.org

BACKGROUND

State of Maine Identifies 1,700 Toxic Chemicals of High Concern

July 17, 2009 (Augusta, Maine) – The State of Maine officially named 1,739 chemical substances as “Chemicals of High Concern http://www.maine.gov/dep/oc/safechem/highconcern/” in the first government action required under a landmark law passed in 2008 to protect children’s health from unnecessary toxic chemicals found in everyday products such as infant formula, plastic shower curtains, cosmetics, furniture, and home electronics.

The dangerous chemicals on the list are known to disrupt hormones, cause learning disabilities, cancer, or reproductive harm, or remain toxic for a long time in the environment and build up in the bodies of humans and wildlife, according to the best science available to top government agencies in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Included on the list are such chemicals as:
  • Bisphenol A , the hormone disruptor being removed by many manufacturers from baby bottles and reusable water bottles, but still widely used in infant formula containers and food and beverage can linings, despite growing evidence linking early life exposure to harm to the developing brain, prostate and breasts;
  • Several phthalates (pronounced ‘thal-ates’), which suppress testosterone and harm developing male sex organs, that are commonly used to soften vinyl plastics and toys and are added to nail polish and other beauty products;
  • PFOS and other perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), used to make grease-resistant fast-food wrappers and snack bags and stain-resistant fabrics for furniture and cars, which are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic;
  • DecaBDE and other brominated flame retardants (BFRs), linked to thyroid damage leading to learning and behavior problems, which are commonly added to plastics, electronic circuit boards, and rigid foam insulation; and
  • Methylene chloride, a common paint stripper, and perchloroethylene, the common dry cleaning chemical, which are both known to cause cancer.
In 2008 Maine became the first state in the nation to adopt a comprehensive safer chemicals policy, also known as the Kid Safe Products Act

Posted on 7/17/2009 (Archive on 8/7/2009)

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