Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families: Advocating for Strong National Toxics Legislation

babyparkEarth Ministry/WAIPL has a long history of standing up for the health of children and families. One way we do this is by working to pass strong legislation to regulate toxic chemicals at the state and national levels. Two bills are currently in play in the U.S. Congress that would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

If enacted as drafted, both the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) and the Chemicals in Commerce Act (House Discussion Draft) would be worse than current law, and endanger public health and the environment. Both bills fail to protect pregnant women and children from toxic chemicals, weaken the review of new chemicals, maintain an onerous burden on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to restrict unsafe chemicals, and violate states’ rights to protect their citizens from toxic chemicals.

This last point is especially important, since Washington State has been a leader in banning certain toxic chemicals and requiring oversight. If these bills pass, Washington’s safe chemical policies will be preempted by weak national standards, rolling back protections crucial to safeguarding our most vulnerable citizens.

Earth Ministry/WAIPL staff and members met with U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell last fall to push for stronger national toxics legislation, and have been meeting with our US Representatives in-state this spring. So far, we have met with Reps. Adam Smith, Jim McDermott, Dave Reichert, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, and Suzan DelBene, with plans to reach out to the rest of the Washington Congressional delegation to urge them to protect our children from toxic chemicals.

Photo credit: Jill Rayburn