Safe Chemicals Act Postcards – November 2011

In October the Green Team collected 50 postcards asking Senators Snowe and Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, a federal bill that seeks to do what the Kids Safe Products Law is doing for Maine. The Maine law identifies priority chemicals of high concern, requires manufacturers to disclose dangerous chemicals in everyday products (such as BPA in baby bottles), and empowers the State to restrict chemical uses in consumer products in favor of available safer alternatives.  Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, the group behind the postcard campaign, is a coalition of Maine-based organizations concerned about public health. Some of its members include
Environmental Health Strategy Center
Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
Maine Council of Churches
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Natural Resources Council of Maine
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine Chapter
Toxics Action Center

In June, a group of nearly 30 state-based faith groups – including Maine Council of Churches and GreenFaith – sent a letter asking Congress to protect children, the elderly, low-income communities, and God’s Creation by reforming our nation’s chemical policies. Current chemical policies, unchanged for 35 years, have failed to protect public health and the environment. The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that only 200 of the more than 82,000 registered industrial chemicals have been fully tested for safety.

The interfaith letter raises the moral implications of scientific research that has linked some toxic chemicals to prevalent health concerns, particularly in children.

We believe that all Maine people have a right to a healthy environment where we live, work and play.
We envision a future free of exposure to harmful chemicals in our air, water or food.
We want our children to grow up healthy with every opportunity to thrive.
We seek to build a healthy economy that provides good jobs producing clean products and services.
We are proud of all that’s been accomplished so far toward a clean and healthy Maine. However, serious challenges remain.

· Ensure EPA has information on the health risks of all chemicals.
· Require EPA to prioritize chemicals based on risk.
· Expedite action to reduce risk from chemicals of highest concern.
· Further evaluate chemicals that could pose unacceptable risk.
· Provide broad public, market and worker access to reliable chemical information.
· Promotes innovation, green chemistry, and safer alternatives to chemicals of concern.

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