Friday, April 16, 2010

Chemical Reform Safety Gains Momentum In Congress

After having read articles such as this National Geographic expose about the chemicals building up in human bodies, would you be scared to be tested yourself?

I would.  I'm seriously afraid to find out what kinds of toxic chemicals have built up in my body, and what their impacts on my health might be.  Hopefully, though, the answers could be used to help protect me from related health threats.

Fortunately, reports Science, Chemical Safety Reform is gaining momentum in Congress:
Two bills in Congress would dramatically strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ability to regulate chemicals. The bills shift the burden of proof to industry, which would have to demonstrate the safety of existing and new chemicals. That's a major change from the existing system, in which EPA must prove that chemicals are harmful before it can regulate them.
"This is a monumental sea change," says Richard Denison of the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.
The bill also...directs EPA to create a green chemistry research grant program and establish a network of at least four research centers to help find safer alternatives to dangerous chemicals.
Strong Chemical Safety Reform is not only important for safeguarding our environment, but like Climate Change and Clean Energy legislation (and it's humongous associated health benefits), it is another crucial component of Health Care Reform.  After all, the build-up of chemicals in human bodies is another example of how chemical producers are profiting by deferring the costs of their products on to people -- and our health care providers and insurance companies.

Clearly, passing a strong Chemical Safety Reform bill will offer broad benefits to our environment, health, safety and economy alike.  Health Insurance Companies should be lining up to support it.

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