As mother of two children, 2 and 9 years old, I pay careful attention to what I buy for my kids. I am constantly frustrated at the number of unsafe chemicals found in everyday products.

I often find out too late that a product I have been buying for years contains toxic chemicals that could cause my kids to develop cancer, learning disabilities or hormone disruption.

My children’s shampoo contains parabens, our shower curtain has phthalates, and my son’s favorite chicken noodle soup has BPA right in the can lining. None of this information was on any product label. When it comes to the majority of my products, I still have no idea whether they are safe.

Maine has named 49 Chemicals of High Concern that are commonly found in our everyday products and are proven to cause cancer, reproductive problems, learning disabilities and other major health problems. No action has been proposed, however, to protect my kids from any of these chemicals.

My kids need more than a list of harmful chemicals. They need safer products.

The good news is that a bill before the Legislature sponsored by Sen. Seth Goodall will make sure we take action to protect our kids. “An Act to Further Protect Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals” will identify which products contain the worst toxic chemicals, prioritize new chemicals for action and close a loophole that currently blocks the state from regulating BPA in food packaging for adults and kids older than age 3. I am asking my representatives, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and the Legislature at large to support these important health protections for my kids. Parents like me deserve to know that the products in our homes are safe for our children.

Staci Fortunato

Augusta

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