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Following the successful campaign in 2010 to ban bisphenol A (BPA) from certain consumer products, in collaboration with the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition, WPSR is again working on toxics legislation at the State level in 2011. This year we are advocating for passage of the Children’s Safe Products Bill (HB 1319 and SB 5231), which will require children’s product manufacturers to find safer alternatives to toxic chemicals in their products. Increasing rates of health problems linked to toxic chemical exposure, like asthma and cancer, coupled with increasing and warranted public demand for safer products, underscore the urgent need for this legislation.
You may be wondering what exactly is new about this bill. In short, it is the logical next step in protecting Washington’s citizens, in particular our children. The Children’s Safe Products Bill (aka “The Children’s Safe Products Act – Take Two”) does the following:
• Prioritizes known harmful chemicals for replacement with safer alternatives.
• Requires children’s product’s manufacturers to find safer alternatives for harmful chemicals in those products.
• Puts harmful chemicals on a path for elimination in children’s products where there are safer alternatives.
Two weeks ago the bill was introduced and last week it was heard in committees in the House and Senate, with several WPSR members testifying in Olympia. Because legislators have a unique role and opportunity to act upon a Prescription for Prevention and insure all Washingtonians are safeguarded, WPSR will continue working hard in the coming weeks and months to see that the concerns associated with toxic chemicals are heard and hopefully addressed in a meaningful way.
It goes without saying that WE NEED YOUR HELP! Everything from signing onto our health professional sign-on letter (click here to sign) to writing letters to the editor to helping out in Olympia, is useful. In the coming weeks there will be multiple opportunities to get involved. Here are a few for now:
1. Sign on to the health professional sign-on letter in support of the Children’s Safe Products Bill (HB 1319 and SB 5231) and pass the link along to your colleagues. It only takes a minute.
2. On Monday February 28th, WPSR will host a toxics forum at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The talk will be held in room G1026, will begin at 7, and will feature a detailed toxics presentation along with information about how to get involved with this work. Please plan to come.
3. Sign up to receive WPSR emails by following this link: http://www.psr.org/chapters/washington/alerts/sign-up-for-action-alerts.html and/or email Cherie and tell her you wish to join WPSR’s Environmental Justice and Human Health listserve (this listserve includes information about WPSR’s toxics work).
If you are interested in getting involved in general or in a different way, please call or email Cherie at the WPSR office (206.547.2630 or email@example.com).