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It's time to put health first
Kathy Attar, MPH
March 17, 2015
All communities deserve effective protection from environmental exposures to hazardous chemicals. If the U.S. is to improve health nationally, we need a regulatory system that reduces and prevents toxic exposures. Unfortunately, the legislation recently introduced by Senators Vitter and Udall, Senate bill (SB) 697, fails to ensure that chemicals in our consumer products are safe. In fact, it actually weakens current law. Because of this we are opposing SB 697.
The bill falls short in critical arenas, including its ability to ensure that consumer products are safe from toxic chemicals; set meaningful deadlines for chemical safety reviews; provide EPA with adequate funding, and protect states' rights to enact their own laws to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals. Further, certain segments of the bill are weaker than current law.
You can check out our more in-depth critique of the bill here.
PSR and its chapters represent thousands of health professionals across the U.S. who care deeply about the health of our communities and believe prevention is the answer to rising disease rates and health care costs. We have a long history of educating, organizing, and advocating around the issue of toxic chemicals and their link to poor health. Our collective experience and advocacy on toxic chemical exposures and health tell us we must oppose SB 697.
We therefore are asking our Senators to stand for health-protective reform and withhold their support from SB 697. To replace our current broken system with another flawed proposal does not serve the public’s health. Instead we want our representatives to hold out for legislation that is truly health-protective and honors the long PSR tradition of education and advocacy on preventing toxic exposures to individuals and communities.