Senate Unanimously Passes Harmful Chemicals Measure 

On Tuesday, the Maine Senate passed unanimously a measure that will further help protect kids and Maine families from harmful chemicals in household products such as toys and food. LD 1181 “An Act to Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals” if law, will identify which products contain the 49 ”worst of the worst” chemicals and will set priorities to remove chemicals from household products that Maine children encounter every day.Last year, Maine named 49 Chemicals of High Concern, a list that identifies chemicals proven through strong, scientific evidence to cause cancer, reproductive problems, and hormone disruption. There has been no procedure to reduce exposure to these chemicals.Scientific evidence shows that chemicals commonly used in household products can lead to expensive chronic diseases, including reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Research shows that children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic chemicals because of their rapid development. A University of Maine study estimates that just four environmentally related childhood diseases in Maine lead to at least $380 million in preventable costs every year.In 2008, the Maine Legislature passed the Kids Safe Product Act, which bans toxic chemicals from many products used by infants and children. The original Kid-Safe law and later improvements were passed by nearly unanimous margins.LD 1181 will face further votes in the Senate and House for consideration.