When parents in Minnesota got fed up with hormone-disrupting Bisphenol-A in their babies' bottles and sippy cups, Lindsay Dahl directed policy for the the Health Legacy Coalition there. Together, Minnesotans created the first state law against BPA in those children's products. State after state, now including California, have passed similar laws. "It's helped create a tipping point for federal reform," details Dahl. Her work now with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, aims to protect families against BPA and numerous other toxic chemicals in everyday products. Federal law has not kept pace with scientific findings, and many argue that the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act never protected consumers in the first place.
Nonpartisan support, even industry involvement, is helping to create stronger standards for chemical manufacturing. The coalition of 280 groups is working toward what Dahl calls "common sense limits on toxic chemicals." Safer Chemicals, Healthy families notes that safer alternatives are not necessarily more expensive or elusive. In fact, US consumers often get offered the more toxic version of a product that wouldn't even be allowed in countries overseas, including much of Europe and even China, where certain substances are no longer allowed. Dahl says, "What they (chemical manufacturers) need is an incentive to move away from the really nasty ones."
The coalition is asking families everywhere to speak up and tell their legislators to pass the Safe Chemicals Act
. The measure has support from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other health organizations. Here's a link to contact information for your US Senators
and US Representatives
. The more moms, dads, grandparents and generally concerned people that they hear from, the more likely that lawmakers can keep our families' health in mind when deciding on the Safe Chemicals Act.
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
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