Last year, I joined more than 2,000 Mainers who signed a petition to spur action on a class of chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are hormone-disrupting chemicals that are found in many everyday products and threaten the development and health of humans. The petition called for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to require manufacturers to disclose which of their products contain phthalates, so that we can have more information about the products we bring into our homes.

The DEP recently changed the wording of the petition, significantly limiting the scope of products that would be included. The DEP proposes phthalate disclosure for only those products that are made and marketed for children younger than 12. Whether it’s using their parents’ shampoos or crawling on a freshly mopped floor, children across the country come in daily contact with hundreds of products not marketed for children. This new wording would allow any products for the 12 and older market to include phthalates without disclosing them to consumers.

This loophole would allow product manufacturers to continue to hide the use of dangerous chemicals.

Kate Elmes


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