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Legal / Ethics

ANA endorses Kid Safe Chemicals Act

Acting on a directive from the 2006 House of Delegates, ANA has endorsed the Kid Safe Chemicals Act. The bill would ensure for the first time that all chemicals used in baby bottles, children’s toys, and other products are proven to be safe before they are put on the market. The need for these protections recently was underscored by studies demonstrating a link between the chemical bisphenol A (used to make baby bottles and water bottles) and a host of medical conditions, including cancer and reproductive problems.

Under existing federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has little authority to gather necessary data or take action to protect workers or consumers from dangerous chemicals. In fact, out of the 80,000 chemicals used in our homes, the EPA has required testing only of 200.

The Kid Safe Chemicals Act was introduced on May 20 by Reps. Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). If enacted, it would address lapses in current law by establishing a safety standard for each chemical on the market. It would shift the burden for proving chemicals are safe from the EPA to the chemical manufacturers. The bill would give the EPA new authority to restrict the use of chemicals that fail to meet the EPA’s safety standard. It would also empower the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand its national survey of chemicals through human biomonitoring.

In 2006, the ANA House of Delegates affirmed ANA’s commitment to reducing the use of toxic chemicals. Its resolution recognized the need to better understand the relationship between health and the environment, especially for vulnerable populations, such as infants, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

By Erin McKeon

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