U.S. Senate Defies Chemical Corporations

The United States Senate resisted tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions from the chemical industry to pass the Safe Chemicals Act out of a key committee.  This bill would reform the Toxic Substance Control Act, for the first time since 1976.

“A measure of faith has been restored in our U.S. Senate.  Despite corporate influence and deceptive practices by the chemical industry, our legislators did the right thing and acted to protect us from toxic chemicals that are linked to so many illnesses. But their work is by no means over. As nurses, we urge passage by the full Congress of the strongest possible Safe Chemicals Act,” says Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM, Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

Mark Mitchell, MD Co-Chair of the National Medical Association’s Environmental Health Task Force, comments, “Conditions such as lowered IQ, learning and behavioral problems, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and infertility – all linked to chemical exposure – are on the rise. The Senate has shown that they are serious in efforts to reduce harmful exposure from many of the 84,000 unregulated chemicals in commerce.”

“Since many people and communities of color, as well as workers, are disproportionately impacted by chemicals, this is a major step towards justice and human rights in the United States,” responds Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN, Executive Director of A Clean and Healthy New York.

“We applaud the U.S. Senators who stood up to some of the most powerful corporations in the world to protect our health and especially our children’s health from chemicals exposure,” says Mike Schade, Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ).

Environmental Health advocates are documenting those who were principled in their vote and those who still are under the apparent influence of the chemical industry. This information will be made known to voters, who are overwhelmingly in favor of stricter regulation of toxic chemicals.