Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
Kid Safe Chemical Act Coming Soon To Protect Families
by Lourdes Salvador
In a press release from the office of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, United States senator for New Jersey, Lautenberg introduces the ´Kid Safe Chemical Act´ to protect Americans from the hazardous chemicals used in consumer products.
The legislation, first introduced by Lautenberg in 2005, and now reintroduced along with Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis of the 32nd District of California and Representative Henry Waxman of the 30th District of California, would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act in various ways.
Manufacturers of chemical substances "distributed in commerce" would be required to certify within one year that their products will cause "no harm" to unborn children, infants, children, workers. or any other sensitive group.
Manufacturers would also be required to certify that products for infants and children meet a safety standard that is tenfold higher than the standard established for adults.
The EPA would have to systematically review whether industry has met its burden of proof for all industrial chemicals within fifteen years.
Hazardous chemicals detected in human cord blood would be immediately targeted for restrictions on their continued use.
The EPA would be authorized to require additional testing as new science and testing methods emerge. This would include new evidence of health effects at lower doses or during fetal or infant development.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be required to expand existing analysis of pollutants in people and to help identify chemicals that threaten the health of children, workers, and other vulnerable populations.
An Internet-accessible public database on chemical hazards and uses would be started to inform companies, communities, and consumers. In addition, government funding and incentives would be provided for development of safer alternatives and green chemistry.
Many parents have hailed the Kid Safe Chemical Act as a "real solution" to the current problems of environmental toxicity and pollution that have been correlated with increases in autism, asthma, multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other modern day maladies.
The bill would provide a much needed fundamental overhaul of the way the United States currently handles chemical regulation. It would bring the precautionary principal back into being. Solis confirmed, "The Kids-Safe Chemicals Act is needed to repair the fundamentally flawed chemical regulatory structure."
At the present time, chemicals are not required to be tested for safety before marketing. Frequently, testing is only conducted when numerous similar health complaints or deaths are discovered after a product reaches the market. This sell now, worry later approach has been too little to late for those injured, including workers, children, and other susceptible individuals. "It is critical that we modernize our nation's chemical safety laws," said Waxman.
The Kid Safe Chemical Act was introduced on the Senate floor on May 20, and subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
"Every day, consumers rely on household products that contain hundreds of chemicals. The American public expects the federal government to keep families safe by testing chemicals, but the government is letting them down," Lautenberg said.
Over 80,000 chemicals are used in various products in our homes, yet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only required testing of 200. This is the lack of testing that has put Americans, especially children, in danger. This new bill would force the EPA to evaluate every chemical product to ensure its safety before it is allowed onto the market.
"A real solution" indeed. The Kid Safe Chemical Act comes at a crucial time when bisphenol A, found in many baby products, and phthalates, found in dangerous levels in common air fresheners used in the home, have been proven harmful to health.
It´s high time for radical changes in the way chemicals are regulated in the United States! The Kid Safe Chemical Act holds the potential to be this much needed change.
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