Toxic Chemicals in Senate: Flame Retardants Focus of Tuesday Hearing

Jul 24, 2012, 06:45 ET from Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety

Vote to Protect Environmental Health on Wednesday

Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety Responds

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health are holding a joint hearing:  "Oversight of EPA Authorities and Actions to Control Exposures to Toxic Chemicals," 10:00 a.m. Room 406, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

State legislators and fire fighters submitted letters expressing outrage at chemical industry tactics of deception regarding health impacts from flame retardants and called for a hearing. Dirty tricks from the chemical industry to avoid regulation of their products will be a focus, sparked by a Chicago Tribune investigation.

Wednesday, this committee votes on S. 847, the Safe Chemicals Act. This long-awaited action will be witnessed by thousands of Americans, including members of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, who meet in Washington D.C. this week.  "This is a top priority for Environmental Justice leaders," said Jose Bravo, Executive Director of the Just Transition Alliance.  Numerous studies show higher flame retardant chemical exposure in communities of color. "Workers, people of color and low-income communities are all disproportionately impacted," Bravo added. "We call upon U.S. Senators to do the right thing and vote yes for the Safe Chemicals Act, to keep people from becoming sick from chemical exposure."

Pound for pound, kids eat, drink, and breathe more than adults do so they are more susceptible to the effects of toxic chemicals. We need a new law to protect kids from chemicals that harm their health," said Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World.

"As a cancer survivor and founder of San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, I appreciate the opportunity to speak before the U.S. Senate. On behalf of fire fighters with cancer, I ask all U.S. Senators to stand up for their health and vote for the Safe Chemicals Act," says Tony Stefani, retired fire captain who is testifying at tomorrow's hearing.

"We're glad that flame retardants are the subject of discussion in an important Senate hearing today. Representatives are finally beginning to see that passing the Safe Chemicals Act is long overdue," comments Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN, coordinator, Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety and executive director of Clean & Healthy New York.

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SOURCE Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety