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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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PRESS STATEMENTS
November 21, 2011
Contact: Steve Taylor (207) 504-2555

Responding to Senators Snowe and Collins’ Acknowledgment that the Federal Chemical Safety Law must be Improved


Following a request from Maine parents, businesses, doctors, nurses, and public health advocates, including 5000 postcards and letters from every corner of Maine, Senators Snowe and Collins both went on record last week stating that more must be done to ensure the safety of chemicals used in consumer products.

Senator Snowe describes the current system as “broken” and agrees “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” and 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….”

The full story containing the statements from Senators Snowe and Collins can be found at: http://www.pressherald.com/blogs/maine_washington_politics/134033533.html

Statement of Tracy Gregoire
Healthy Children’s Project Director for the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
We are extremely pleased that both Senators recognize the need for common sense laws that protect the health of Maine kids. Let’s face it, no child should be exposed to toxic chemicals in their homes, when they play with their favorite toys or eat their favorite meals. Surveys show that 91% of Maine people want to fix this broken system. We hope Senators Snowe and Collins will take leadership on making this happen. Maine children and families need them to be heroes in the US Senate.

Statement of Jessa Barnard
Director of Public Health Policy for the Maine Medical Association
Maine doctors appreciate Senator Snowe and Senator Collins’ public recognition that the federal Toxic Substances Control Act has failed to protect children’s health from dangerous chemicals in everyday household products. The toll of toxic chemical exposure is devastating. Not only are toxic chemicals linked to cancer, diabetes, learning disabilities, and other chronic diseases, but they lead to at least $380 million in health costs every year in Maine alone. That’s a burden shared by every family and business across the state, and it’s all preventable. Maine legislators have been heroes, but we can’t solve this problem alone. We hope Senators Snowe and Collins will now become co-sponsors of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.

Statement of Bettyann Sheats
Owner of Finishing Touches, a remodeling business in Auburn
We don’t have to choose between good health and good business - they go hand-in-hand. Preventing illness and disease is a smart investment because healthy kids do better in school, healthy workers are more productive, and lower health costs are good for every business and family in Maine. We all benefit by getting toxic chemicals off the store shelves and out of our bodies. That’s why a recent survey showed that 88% of the Maine small businesses polled support a stronger federal chemicals policy that ensures full health and safety testing of all chemicals in commerce. We are very happy to hear Senators Snowe and Collins acknowledge the problem. Now we hope we can count on them to take leadership on the Safe Chemicals Act.

Statement of Steve Taylor
Coordinator of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine
We are delighted to hear these statements from Senator Snowe and Senator Collins. Here in Maine, there is overwhelming bipartisan support for safer chemicals from Maine’s parents, policy makers, physicians, and small businesses. Senators Snowe and Collins should build on the Maine consensus by co-sponsoring the Safe Chemicals Act and helping advance it quickly through the Senate. Now is the moment for bipartisan leadership of the kind that Maine’s Senators often provide. As they have done on many other issues, Senators Snowe and Collins can uphold our tradition of practical, common sense policy-making dating back to Margaret Chase Smith, and help break the partisan gridlock in Washington to protect children’s health.
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BACKGROUND

On Thursday November 17, the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would overhaul the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a 35-year-old law that public health advocates say is outdated and ineffective at protecting public health and giving businesses and consumers accurate information about chemicals used in everyday products.

Under TSCA, only 200 of over 80,000 commercial chemicals have been fully tested for health effects in 35 years, and only 5 have ever been restricted, despite widespread scientific evidence of harm from many chemicals. The hearing marks the first time since TSCA’s passage that legislation to overhaul this much-maligned law will be heard by a Senate committee.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847) 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 supporters say would be good for Maine’s economy.

The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine is a coalition of over 50 public health, medical, parent, community, women’s, worker, environmental, and public interest organizations dedicated to protecting public health and the environment by replacing unnecessary dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives. www.cleanandhealthyme.org


Posted on 11/21/2011 (Archive on 12/12/2011)

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