I believe that L.D. 1433, An Act to Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging, should be supported because this bill will help to protect Mainers and the natural environment from exposure to harmful substances.

I am a senior at Colby College in Waterville studying environmental policy and have spent time over the past four years learning about toxic chemicals and how they negatively affect the environment and public health. I have also learned that we can protect ourselves and future generations from harmful substances, many of which we don’t even realize we are exposed to, by eliminating the use of dangerous toxic chemicals as much as possible.

L.D. 1433 aligns with Gov. Janet Mills’ commitment to a healthy environment and healthy people in Maine as it would ban the unnecessary addition of a variety of chemicals that are used in packaging materials and have understood human health impacts.

For example, two of the chemicals listed in the bill, PFAS chemicals and phthalates, are understood to cause cancer and disrupt the endocrine system, according to the National Institute of Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. They also are both persistent and pervasive in the environment, so they readily contaminate our natural resources and are hard to remove.

I feel that it is overly risky to use these toxic substances unnecessarily in our packaging materials, especially food packaging as it easily leads to exposure. As a young person who plans to stay in Maine after graduating from college, I care about living in a state that will continue to prioritize my health and the environment. The passing of L.D. 1433 would be an effective way to reduce exposure to toxic substances and, therefore, I strongly feel that this bill should be supported

 

Julia Nelson

Waterville


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