It's Earth Day, and we've got you covered!
My kindergartener went to school today with an empty 2-liter bottle. The plan? Quite frankly, it's a mystery to me, but I know it involves celebrating Earth Day, so I was happy to do my part by digging through the recycling bin for the perfect contribution. She, like millions of kids across the country today, will come home excited to tell me about her Earth Day project.
How will I respond? I'll proudly tell her I also did my part for the environment today by sending a letter to Congress urging support for safer chemicals in products used by babies and children, and in all consumer products.
Will you join me? (I won't tell your kids how easy we made it for you!).
Why are the chemicals in everyday products an urgent Earth Day issue? Time Magazine put it really well in their excellent article "The Perils of Plastic":
Those chemicals have a habit of finding their way out of everyday products and into the environment — and ultimately into living organisms....
Once these chemicals are in the environment, and our bodies, they can have a serious impact on our health and the health of our children. Even at very low levels of exposure, some chemicals have been linked to a wide range of serious problems, including infertility, early onset of puberty, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders in children, and certain cancers. You can learn more by reading the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families report "Toxic Chemicals: The Cost to Our Health." Of course, these are only the health impacts we already know about - it's the ones we're still learning about that scare me the most!
The big problem is that chemicals are poorly regulated under a 34-year old law that really needs to be updated for modern times, consistent with modern science. And when this law is updated, it needs to ensure chemicals are proven safe before they go on the market. Now, after months of organizing from MomsRising and our allies, the Safe Chemicals Act was finally introduced in Congress by Senator Lautenberg and Congressmen Bobby Rush and Henry Waxman. Here's the New York Times story on the bill. This bill is an excellent start, but it can still be made stronger to protect the environment and our health.
Please contact your Senators and Representative today and urge them to support a strong version of the Safe Chemicals Act. Sure, it's going to take some work. But together we can build a safer and healthier nation for our children. And, we can prove you're never too old to celebrate Earth Day.