New policy will harm children’s health by delaying disclosure of toxics
For Immediate Release (January 22, 2018)
[Burlington, VT] — Parents, advocates, and concerned residents spoke out today in downtown Burlington to demand that Governor Scott stop delaying the disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products.
The Scott Administration is changing current policy to prevent parents from knowing what toxic chemicals are in their children’s. Under a proposed amendment to the Chemicals of High Concern in Children’s Products Rule, products could be on the market for up to two years before the Department of Health — and the public — is notified that the product contains toxic or cancer-causing chemicals.
This significant delay could have harmful effects on the health of children in Vermont, and is a reversal of the current requirement that products be reported to the Department of Health if they contain at least one of 66 “chemicals of high concern to children.” Concerned residents spoke out today to call for transparency.
“Delaying the disclosure of toxics in our kids’ products means denying parents the security of knowing we’re doing the best we can to keep our kids healthy,” said Elizabeth Deutsch, a nurse at UVM Medical Center. “We deserve to know what’s in the toys, bottles and pacifiers we buy, and our kids deserve that, too.”
When it comes to toxics, children have a higher risk of harm — toxic chemicals can impact their development in ways that have serious lifelong consequences. But when it comes to profits, industries who use toxic chemicals benefit from concealing the dangerous chemicals in consumer products. The chemical industry and their allies lobbied for the new policy to delay toxics disclosure for two years, and Governor Scott put forward a proposal that would do just that.
“The Scott Administration is showing that it cares more about industry profit than protecting kids’ health,” said Shaina Kasper, Vermont State Director at Toxics Action Center. “Vermont has been a leader on health and environment — we shouldn’t have to fight for basic information to make good decisions for our kids.”
Ashley Orgain of Seventh Generation, moms, and advocates spoke about their concern that the new policy will harm kids’ health.
“We can’t wait two years just to find out the bottles we used to feed our kids contained toxic chemicals,” said Johanna De Graffenreid, Environmental Advocate at VPIRG. “By then, it’s too late to go back.”
Speakers declared that they will keep fighting until Governor Scott withdraws the amendment and moves to protect Vermonters and their children.
“When I’m shopping for products for my children, I should have the right to know what toxic chemicals are hiding in the products I’m thinking about buying,” said Lauren Hierl, Political Director, Vermont Conservation Voters. “Parents like me want to make the best choices for our kids, but if we don’t have good, up-to-date information, we can’t.”
See a livestream of the event.
Toxics Action Center works side-by-side with communities to prevent or clean up pollution in New England.
VPIRG is the largest non-profit consumer and environmental advocacy organization in Vermont, bringing the voice of Vermont citizens to the public policy debates concerning the environment, health care, consumer protection and democracy.
Vermont Conservation Voters works to make environmental protection a top priority for elected officials, candidates, and voters.