Congressman should avoid chemical bill

Published 11:44 am Friday, March 28, 2014

Infants and children are more vulnerable to the effects of chemical exposure from products than adults because of their rapid growth and development.

Toxic chemicals such as BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, parabens, and flame retardants have been shown to cause cancer, learning difficulties, ADHD, type-2 diabetes, obesity, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, and infertility. As a parent, I should not have to try to be a detective of chemicals when purchasing products for my child and family.

Yet with the outdated Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, I am forced to do this every time I purchase a new product. When shopping for a new toy, feeding item, or personal care product for my toddler I spend hours reading packaging fine print to see if the product contains a known toxic chemical such as BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, flame retardants or parabens.

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Any mother can tell you how hard this is not only because of the deception from the manufacturing companies, but because of the limited time a mother has when they have a toddler in tow who has a short attention span. In addition, retailers place children’s products, often containing these harmful chemicals, at their eye level prompting them to request these items.

This places parents in a difficult situation to deny their child a toy, but this is the only way a parent can protect their child’s health.

What we need is leadership from the federal government to put common sense limits on toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, there is currently an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a phony version of reform that would do little to protect children.

This bill, called the Chemicals in Commerce Act, is more about boosting the image of the chemical industry than protecting public health. We need real protections that put the health of children and other vulnerable populations first.

Today I’m asking Rep. Bill Johnson to steer clear of the Chemicals in Commerce Act.


Laura Distelhorst