Our campaign created a bit of a 'flap' in Baltimore today by bringing an unexpected guest to the chemical industry's annual GlobalChem conference. Our giant rubber duck and its non-feathered friends attracted reporters and focused public attention on the fact that there are stark differences between how health advocates define TSCA reform, and how the chemical industry defines reform. Our rally was covered by the Baltimore Sun:
Standing in front of a giant rubber duck, which came to symbolize toy safety after it was used in nationwide protests of phthalates in the toys, Andy Igrejas, campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said the public won't tolerate "phony" reform. "After protests, Congress eventually banned some phthalates in toys," he said. "But phthalates are the tip of the iceberg. ... Parents are getting angry. States are passing laws and Congress is looking at reform."
Other speakers included Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN, from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments; Jenny Levin from Maryland PIRG; Cynthia Bearer, MD, PhD, Professor of Neonatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Ariana Kelly from MomsRising.org. The rally was also covered by Chemical Week, Greenwire, and the Daily Green. Andy's blog defining the differences between our position and the chemical industry's position was published in the Huffington Post and Alternet. The Daily Green provided a nice summary of how our stance contrasts with the chemical industry's position:
- Advocates believe chemicals should be regulated like pesticides and drugs: They should be proved safe before being allowed into commerce.
- The industry believes only priority chemicals defined by the EPA should be tested and considered for tighter regulation
- Advocates believe chemicals the EPA has already defined as likely hazardous should be regulated now.
- The industry believes detailed new risk assessments should precede any regulation.
- Advocates believe chemicals should be studied in ways that assess the cumulative effect of exposure to multiple chemicals simultaneously.
- The industry believes the health effects of only some chemicals should be studied, each in isolation and without reference to cumulative exposure.
Here are some photos from the rally.
Learn more about real TSCA reform.
Thanks for posting something about keeping our kids safe. Making industrial chemicals safe for infants and children is something we can all get behind. To ensure that we really fix this problem we must include modern science language, which necessarily utilizes non-animal methods, in this bill; otherwise we'll have another outdated bill on our hands.
Currently, many toxicity tests are based on experiments in animals and use methods that were developed as long ago as the 1930’s; they and are slow, inaccurate, open to uncertainty and manipulation, and do not adequately protect human health. These tests take anywhere from months to years, and tens of thousands to millions of dollars to perform. More importantly, the current testing paradigm has a poor record in predicting effects in humans and an even poorer record in leading to actual regulation of dangerous chemicals.
Alternatives to animal testing exist in a powerful way and many scientists advocate them. Chemical reform should not only modernize policy, but modernize the science that supports that policy. Let's ensure chemicals reform uses all the necessary tools to truly make our children, our environment, and animals safe.Posted by: Charli B | Apr 5, 2010 2:49:07 PM
Thank you for your hard work to bring awareness and change concerning the chemicals that go untested and unregulated in everything from lotion to toys. We deserve better than this. It's time that we had tougher regulation because you cannot trust corporations to choose based on the health of the consumer. They will always choose what makes them the most money. We should have the right to choose by proper labeling. It's great to see all you out if force!Posted by: Shelby Rodriguez | Mar 31, 2010 3:31:08 PM