With chants of "People have a right to know! Toxic chemicals have to go!" and
"Chems in kids, that's the worst, time to put the people first!" Approximately
200 moms, nurses, cancer survivors and other passionate citizens from across the
United States gathered in Washington DC on May 22nd for a Stroller Brigade for
Safe Chemicals organized by Safer
Chemicals Healthy Families.
The Stroller Brigade participants sent a strong message to Congress: Our families are sick and struggling and we are tired of unawarely bringing toxic chemicals into our homes and exposing our children and ourselves because the United States has inadequate chemical safety laws. It's unacceptable that the only law we have is the broken, ineffective and outdated Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). We can do better and we must in order to protect our health and lower health care costs in this country.
Armed with more than 130,000 petition signatures, the delegations, who travelled from as far as Maine, Florida, New Mexico and Alaska joined forces on the Capitol Lawn to hear stories of mothers whose families are struggling with illness and to greet Senators who have been champions of safer chemicals. Clean Water Action led delegations from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida.
Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), sponsor of the Safe Chemicals Act, Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Charles Shumer (D-NY) addressed the crowd. We then marched, chanting, to the Senate office buildings and fanned out to visit over 50 US Senators and Representatives to call for passage of the Safe Chemicals Act.
The Safe Chemicals Act would go a long way to addressing the failures of TSCA and protecting our families. It would improve the safety of chemicals used in consumer products, increase public information on chemical safety, protect our most vulnerable populations and disproportionately affected "hot spot" communities, reform EPA's science practices to ensure the best available science is being used to determine chemical safety and support innovation in the marketplace and provide incentives for the development of safer chemical alternatives.
Efforts to pass this bill will continue, so stay tuned for how you can help! In the meantime, you can see more photos from the day on the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow Facebook page (Massachusetts), and on the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Facebook page. Finally, dozens of media outlets across the nation covered the Brigade. Here are links to some of our favorite pieces:
The Huffington Post