Action Urged to Protect Children’s Health from Toxic Chemicals

For Immediate Release

NEWARK—Today at The University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, Senator Frank Lautenberg was joined by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and other environmental health experts to examine the impact of toxic chemicals on children’s health.

The hearing comes as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee deliberates on the ‘Safe Chemicals Act’, a bill sponsored by Senator Lautenberg that would fix current chemical policy to better protect children and families from harmful chemicals.

“The risk of doing nothing to better protect our children from dangerous chemicals has become far too great,” Senator Lautenberg said.  “The government lacks the basic tools to require adequate testing in the lab.  My legislation seeks to fix America’s broken system for regulating industrial chemicals.  The ‘Safe Chemicals Act’ would provide parents with assurances that the products they buy for their families are safe.”

“It’s absurd that everyday products like water bottles and strollers could pose a toxic threat to our health.  We know there’s a serious problem when buying a baby bottle for your child is risky business,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, Executive Director of Environment New Jersey.  “This hearing highlights the urgent need to pass comprehensive chemical reform.”

Under current chemical policy, thousands of chemicals on the market have not been proven safe, and many times have been linked to diseases like obesity, learning disabilities, and cancer.  Industries are not required to prove their products are safe; instead they are allowed to use these chemicals until they are proven unsafe by the EPA—a standard for which even asbestos does not qualify. Additionally, chemical industries are allowed to use these same chemicals without disclosing them to the general public.

Environment New Jersey and Environment America want industries to be required to disclose all chemicals they use and prove that the chemicals they use are safe before they hit the market, while phasing out the use of the most toxic chemicals entirely.

“Almost every day we read about a new, toxic threat in our households.  It’s time to keep these dangerous chemicals out of our homes in the first place,” Mottola Jaborska said.  “We need to pass the ‘Safe Chemicals Act’ now.”