Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

Lautenberg Cites EWG Minority Cord Blood Report at Toxics Reform Hearing

At a hearing held before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and its Environmental Health panel on Wednesday, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, cited Environmental Working Group’s minority cord blood study as he renewed his call for reform of federal toxic chemicals controls.

“The Environmental Working Group released the results of a two-year study that found nearly 250 different industrial chemicals in the blood of 10 babies who were exposed to the substances while still in the womb,” Lautenberg said. “While some of these chemicals may not be harmful, others clearly are. That means these children face the possibility of chronic, life-long health problems from the day they are born.”

Obama administration officials seconded Lautenberg’s criticism of current federal toxic controls.

“Understandably, the public is turning to government for assurance that chemicals that are ubiquitous in our economy, our environment and our bodies have been assessed using the best available science, and that unacceptable risks have been eliminated,” said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. “But, under existing law, we cannot give that assurance. Restoring confidence in our chemical management system is a top priority for me, and a top environmental priority for the Obama Administration.”

Lautenberg is expected to introduce reform legislation known as the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act, which he sponsored in the two previous Congresses.

You can read the statements of Lautenberg, Jackson, Senator Barbara Boxer, D-CA, Chairwoman of the Senate subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program and others on the Environment and Public Works Committee site.

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One Response to “Lautenberg Cites EWG Minority Cord Blood Report at Toxics Reform Hearing”

  1. Charli says:

    Thank you for this post EPW. It’s good to see that some headway is being made on this issue. I know that I would like to see some changes.

    I just want to offer my critique and state that if we truly want to be safer we MUST modernize the science that we use to test chemicals. Using animals to test chemicals, as we currently are doing, is not keeping us safe. With so many alternatives to animal testing that give us more accurate results and allow us to test low-dose exposure as well as chemical mixing we necessarily must reform the science that goes with reforming policy.