Activists for public and environmental health descended upon the Capitol to demand safer chemical laws for American families at yesterday’s National Stroller Brigade. Hundreds of mothers, children and coalition representatives from over 30 states gathered in support of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. The Act, introduced by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), would shift the burden of proof for chemical safety to manufacturers, ensuring that dangerous toxins stay out of household products and furnishings.
“Our current law allows too many untested chemicals on the market,” said Sen. Lautenberg. “We want to have responsible oversight and regulation of the chemical industry giving the EPA authority…so that chemical companies will be required to tell what is in the chemical and what testing has been done.”He was joined at the news conference by Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), both sponsors of the bill.
Polly Schlaff, who lost family members to non-genetic forms of cancer, and Hannah Pingree, former Speaker of the House in Maine, also spoke before the march. “Every day, [my sons] and millions of other American children are exposed to known and suspected carcinogens,” said Schlaff, whose son was born with a urological birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to environmental estrogen. “This is unacceptable.”
Activists also lobbied senators in their offices, delivering 130,000 petition signatures in support of the Act, which awaits a vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
UPDATE: Check out CNN's coverage of the Stroller Brigade.