Maine families have the right to know that the products they use are safe and free of dangerous chemicals.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the federal law regulating chemicals in our products, however, is outdated and ineffective. Several toxic chemicals commonly found in consumer products have been linked to cancer, diabetes, learning disabilities and reproductive disorders. This has a significant impact on health care costs of working families.

In Maine, there is overwhelming bipartisan support for safer chemicals and products among parents, policymakers, doctors, nurses and small businesses.

On May 22, a group of 25 Maine mothers traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby Maine’s congressional delegation in support of the Safe Chemicals Act (S.847), which would retool and update the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The Safe Chemicals Act takes a measured, science-based approach to testing and regulating chemicals in consumer products before they end up on the shelves. The bill would ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency has the information it needs to effectively test and regulate chemicals for their health impacts.

It’s exactly the type of practical, common-sense solution that Maine is known for, and that parents and children around the country are waiting for.

Maine parents need Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to be heroes for our children and grandchildren who are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals. I urge them to support their colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee and to help them forge a bipartisan solution that overhauls the toxic substances act, brings clarity and safety to the marketplace and protects children’s health. I ask them to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act and help it advance quickly through the Senate.

Barbara Aronie-McPherson


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