Saturday, December 19, 2009

The EPA has made it clear that current regulations don’t give them the tools to protect Americans from serious health problems

This is the foundational message that we should all understand, from Safer Chemicals/Healthy Families http://www.saferchemicals.org/.

I just sent this to Congress, we must be active and informed!

The EPA has made it clear that current regulations don’t give them the tools to protect Americans from the serious health problems associated with toxic chemicals, and the Obama Administration has asked Congress to enact swift reform. The Administration’s stance reflects the concerns of millions of Americans like me, who are finding it hard to limit my family’s exposure to toxic chemicals.

Please support legislation that will soon be introduced to reform and modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Give the EPA the tools they need to put common sense limits on toxic chemicals in every day products.

Serious reform is long overdue. Toxic chemicals have already caused long-term harm to our nation’s health. The chemicals found in every day products have been linked to escalating public health problems like obesity, dramatic increases in chronic diseases like cancer, and unprecedented changes to our fertility.

Chemical-related health trends are making a serious impact on our economy, too. Peer reviewed studies show that reforming the nation’s chemical laws will result in annual savings of $5 billion in health care costs. These savings would come from a decline in chronic diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma and learning disabilities.

Additionally, many of our most significant trading partners are implementing stronger chemicals protection policies than we have in the U.S., putting our economy at a competitive disadvantage in a global marketplace that is rapidly gaining awareness of the problems associated with runaway toxic chemicals.

TSCA is now 33 years old and has never been modernized. Outdated technologies and unsafe chemicals have created costs too great to bear to sustain our quality of life, with broad implications for our health care system and our economy.

There are 82,000 chemicals available for use in the U.S. yet only about 200 chemicals have been assessed for safety. Only 5 chemicals have been restricted based on health and safety concerns.

The time has come to give the federal government enough authority to require that chemicals be tested for safety before they are put into the products we use every day.

As your constituent, I urge you to support legislation that will:

1. Take immediate action to stop the use of the most dangerous toxic chemicals;

2. Give the EPA the power to assess the safety of all chemicals so that the health of all people and the environment, especially the most vulnerable subpopulations, including children, workers, and pregnant women will be protected;

3. Improve the right to know about toxic chemicals by allowing the public, workers, and the marketplace to have full access to information about the health hazards from chemicals and the way in which government safety decisions are made.

Legislation to modernize and update TSCA will be introduced soon. I urge you to support this effort to lead us into a new era of safer chemicals and healthy families.

Thank you for your leadership.

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