Update on the Safe Chemicals Act - some good news from Capital Hill

A bit of good news for reproductive health today coming from Congress! Signaling their clear intention to protect families from toxic chemicals in everyday products, Senators Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Boxer, Amy Klobuchar, Charles Schumer and others today introduced the "Safe Chemicals Act" to upgrade America's outdated system for managing chemical safety. (Click here to watch video of Sen. Lautenberg talking about the bill.) This bill comes on the heels of a USA Today article highlighting the alarming rise in early puberty among girls and would go a long way toward protecting the reproductive health and fertility of millions of Americans.

Reproductive Health Advocates to Congress: Protect Women's Health, Pass Chemical Policy Reform

Statement by Kirsten Moore, President & CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, on the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Acts of 2011 by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ):

"Amid an increasingly partisan backdrop, this bill gives Americans from across the political spectrum something they have been clamoring for-better laws to protect our families from toxic and untested chemicals in everyday products. Reforming our chemical laws is a prime example of how government can work for the people by protecting our reproductive health and our children from the threat of chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, and asbestos. The introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 is a critical first step to creating a healthier tomorrow for women and their families. This bill also presents a profound opportunity to protect the most vulnerable among us, from pregnant women and children to low-income communities and communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by toxic chemicals."

Statement by Tracey Woodruff, PhD, Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California San Francisco, former EPA scientist, and Board member of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project:

"Mounting scientific evidence demonstrates that commonly-used chemicals can harm reproductive health and contribute to infertility, miscarriage, early puberty, and decreased sperm counts. Thousands of other chemicals have never been studied. It's time to use current science to study chemicals used in everyday products, place common-sense limits on those that can adversely impact our health, and provide consumers with the information they need to protect their families."

Background: The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 will provide long overdue reform of the 35-year-old federal law that regulates toxic chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This new legislation would give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stronger authority to test and regulate the 84,000 chemicals on the market today. Studies have linked exposure to many commonly used chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA), to a host of reproductive health problems including infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, early puberty in girls, low sperm counts, and breast cancer.

For more information about this legislation and how toxic chemicals impact reproductive health and fertility, please visit: http://www.rhtp.org/fertility/SafeChemicalsAct2011.asp

Kimberly Inez McGuire is the Senior Associate, Programs & Policy Reproductive Health Technologies Project
www.rhtp.org / www.judgment-to-empathy.org

For more information about this bill, or how you can support efforts to reduce toxic chemical exposure, please contact kimcguire@rhtp.org or 202-530-4401.

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