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EPA Cleans House, Industry Fights Back

by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff
Executive Director/CEO
Healthy Child Healthy World
www.healthychild.org

The Environmental Protection Agency is cleaning house. Last week, Administrator Lisa P. Jackson released hundreds of chemical studies, which were formerly kept secret from the public as confidential business information.

This week, National Public Radio reported that the EPA released information on pollution violations at more than 1,600 power plants, which expose communities to benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and other hazardous chemicals. According to NPR, at least 300 of these—considered “high priority violators” for at least 10 years—were on a secret EPA “watch list” until now.

But the industries that depend on these chemicals are fighting back. Recently, the International Fragrance Association North America challenged a law introduced by Representative Steve Israel of New York that would force them to have ingredient lists on their bottles, claiming that fragrance recipes are “artistic creations that need to be protected,” according to the National Journal.

As the fight heats up, pediatricians, are becoming even more vocal about our need to clearly identify and reduce chemical toxicants that can affect children’s health, according to Family Practice News. At a recent conference sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, Dr. Jerome Paulson referred to children’s increased vulnerabilities to pesticides such as organophosphates, pyrethrins, Bisphenol A, phthalates, manganese and arsenic, calling them “the canaries in the coal mine.”

Our children’s health needs protecting—not “artistic” chemical creations or the profits of industry.

Please take a moment to send a Holiday e-card to your Senators asking for the gift of the Safe Chemicals Act, the long overdue legislation that will give our children the protection they need from toxic exposures. Simply submit your holiday photo at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ website and your card and request will be quickly created and sent.

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