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UPDATE: Federal Chemical Reform and What YOU Can Do

September 28, 2010

“Confronting Toxics: Why it Matters and What Health Professionals Can Do” 

 

 

Have you ever wondered about all of the toxic chemicals around your home and in your workplace? Have you ever asked why do we only find out after the fact that phthalates (like a host of other chemicals), which are used in common lotions and shampoos, and in vinyl products, are linked to reproductive harm and respiratory problems? Have you ever said, if only. If only we had known that dioxin could cause birth defects. If only we had known that BPA is related to an increased susceptibility to cancer and a host of metabolic disorders. And for healthcare professionals, if only we had known that the gel I use to wash my hands contained Triclosan, an endocrine disrupter which has been shown to negatively impact the thyroid.

WPSR recently hosted a training concerning toxic chemicals which included a significant piece about advocacy and how health professionals can take meaningful action to address chemicals. Even if you did not attend this training, there is no shortage of actions you can take to make your voice heard concerning these dangers which lurk all around and your voice is crucial in our efforts to make Washington State and the nation a safer place.

Legislation is currently before our national representatives that aims to address the fundamentally flawed Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). Securing a strong and meaningful passage of the Toxic Chemical Safety Act HR 5820, introduced by Bobby Rush and Henry Waxman last spring, would provide for a safer and a healthier environment for ours and future generations and we need your help to make this happen.

 

So, what can YOU do about toxic chemicals? Today? Tomorrow? Next year?

 

1.  If you have 2 minutes today, please call your representative (to locate yours, go to: click here). After the staffer answers the phone, it’s easy (here is a sample script): “I am a physician (or nurse or health professional) and have been practicing for X years. In that time, the rise in learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive problems and infertility, chronic diseases, obesity and childhood cancer have all increased at alarming rates. Thanks to new science we know a part of the rise is due to our daily exposure to toxic chemicals and we have an opportunity for prevention. It is up to Congress to help prevent these unnecessary exposures and pass a strong bill to reform the out of date Toxic Substances Control Act. Representatives Bobby Rush and Henry Waxman have just introduced the Toxic Chemical Safety Act HR 5820 and I am calling to urge Rep. ______________ to co-sponsor this piece of legislation.”

2.  If you have a little more time, WPSR in conjunction with the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition, is seeking both to attend and set up appointments with state and national representatives. While we will continue to push for federal change, Washington State will continue to move this agenda at the state level. If you are interested in attending meetings with your representatives, please contact Cherie Eichholz at cherie@wpsr.org or 206.547.2630.

 

 

3.  Finally, while we are thrilled that new federal legislation has been introduced and though Washington State has been a leader, work always remains. Making your voice heard via letters to the editor and letters to your representatives are ALWAYS a good idea. The voices of health professionals are crucial to securing the safest possible future, so make yours heard! To locate your state rep, click here.

 

 

MORE RESOURCES!   Powerpoint Slide Shows:

A Nano-dose of Toxicology -- introductory orientation to Toxics
WPSR Advocacy for Health -- The Washington state chapter's advocacy slides
Confronting Toxics -- and why it matters.  One slide (title slide)

 

 

  

 

 

 

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Resources

  • Toxic chemical report and fact sheets

    This report contains a examination of the health impacts of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and of the regulatory system in place to dictate their production and use. Fact sheets present this information in a shorter and more easy to read format. Read more »

  • Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit

    The Toolkit is a combination of easy-to-use reference guides for health providers and user-friendly health education materials on preventing exposures to toxic chemicals and other substances that affect infant and child health. Read more »