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"Safety prescription from Doctor Dad"

Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 22, 2010

Last week, PSR Maine member Jeff Peterson wrote a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald. As a pediatrician and a father, he wrote about the importance of strong chemical policy reform. Here is his letter: 

Safety prescription from Doctor Dad

I will celebrate Father's Day with my daughter by wading in the ocean or taking a bike ride. I am a pediatrician, and the fathers of many of my patients will do the same. I am thrilled to see my daughter and my patients thrive and grow, and I want to keep them safe from danger.

Some dangers we can see, but it's the ones we can't that concern me most, like the toxic chemicals in a child's world.

Clinical evidence suggests that chemicals found in pesticides, household cleaners, plastics and personal care products threaten the health of our children.

Even before they are born, children are exposed to thousands of these chemicals, most of which have not been tested for safety. I am convinced that toxic chemicals in our environment will soon be shown to cause a wide spectrum of disease in adults and children.

The good news is that for the first time in over 30 years, we now have a chance to fix the chemical safety laws that have allowed toxins into our food, toy chests and bathrooms.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 would require new health and safety information and minimum health safety standards for all chemicals, and the phase-out of the most dangerous chemicals.

Please urge Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to support this legislation. Let's make future Father's Days safer for our children.

Jeff Peterson, M.D.
Portland

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