States Join Together to Get Rid of the Worst-of-the-Worst Chemicals

Mercury, lead, cadmium, DDT, PCBs, and toxic flame retardants. Ask most toxicologists about these dubious chemicals and they’ll tell you they’re a dastardly bunch when it comes to harming our health and the environment. In fact, they belong to a class of chemicals called PBT chemicals that many experts classify as some of the worst chemicals on the planet. And, unfortunately, these types of chemicals are all around us, in our bodies, in our food, in products we have in our homes, and in our environment.                                                                         

The good news is that while the federal government has been slow to address these “worst of the worst” chemicals, several states, including Connecticut, have been quietly taking action for years to eliminate them from our lives. But, as our friends at Safer States point out in their latest blog on PBT chemicals, it’s clear states can’t continue to do it alone:

If there’s one thing we know about PBT chemicals, it’s that they don’t respect state borders – which is why it is critical that the federal government’s policies work hand-in-hand with state legislation to keep Americans safe from these harmful toxins which risk the health of our families.                                                                              

“We need a fix at the federal level so that we don’t have to do this in the states,” said Ted Sturdevant, Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology. “States have limited resources and lack the tools of federal agencies to drive a national program. However, until we have a national solution, we will continue to act on chemical safety concerns in our states.”

 We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re closely following the recently introduced Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 and asking Connecticut’s Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman to be co-sponsors.  You can help by calling Senator Blumenthal at 860-258-6940 or 202-224-2823 (Washington DC) and Senator Lieberman at 860-549-8463 or 800-225-5605 and asking them to support and co-sponsor this important bill. If you would like to do more, such as help to organize an in-state meeting with your legislators, please contact Susan at 860-232-6232.

Read Safer States’ whole story of the impacts of these worst chemicals, what states have been doing, and why Congress may finally follow the states and do something meaningful to protect our health from these chemicals.