A few years ago, Maine was one of the first states to pass a groundbreaking bill, the Kid-Safe Products Act, which recognized the need to regulate chemicals at the state level and required manufacturers to report any proven toxic chemicals used in their children’s products sold in Maine.

Legislators have introduced L.D. 948 to use law to protect children from another toxic chemical group: phthalates.

Phthalates, a group of chemicals that gives plastics their flexibility and durability, are used in backpacks, rain jackets, flooring, cosmetics, lotions and other personal care products.

Phthalates are dangerous, despite their widespread use in consumer products. They mimic the testosterone hormone and can disrupt thyroid function, thereby affecting early childhood development and reproductive health. Chronic exposure can cause birth defects, learning and behavioral issues, asthma and allergies. Therefore, phasing-out phthalates from household products would prevent childhood diseases and reduce health care costs for Maine families.

I support L.D. 948, which would designate phthalates as priority chemicals that manufacturers must disclose if present in their products. Not only are Maine families entitled to know the contents of their household products, but replacing harmful chemicals in consumer products with safer alternatives will encourage innovation and catalyze new market creation in Maine.

Passing L.D. 948 continues the tradition of Maine as a national leader in chemical safety policy that safeguards the health of families over the profits of industry.

Ameena Khan

Waterville