“It’s a terrible thing to happen. Not only are the sea creatures dying, but it’s hurting humans too,” said my daughter, Anna, about the oil spill while getting ready for school. “I’m afraid it could get a lot, lot worse.”
She's right to be concerned. And she might not even know the half of it. Not only are millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico everyday, but the chemicals that are being used to disperse the oil are toxic.[1,2]
*Urge Congress to protect our environment and our families by passing the Safe Chemicals Act which will provide vigorous oversight of chemical use to ensure that all products, including children's products, are safe--and encourage them to amend the Act to cover oil spill dispersants:
What's happening in the Gulf of Mexico is just one example of the preventable toxics hazards that are unleashed by a lack of oversight of the chemical industry. Recent news stories are revealing that the dispersants being used by BP have already made many Gulf workers sick, and wind blown dispersants are suspected of causing crop damage inland. Less toxic dispersants have been available all along. In fact, the dispersant being used in the Gulf, Corexit 9500, has been banned in United Kingdom since 1998, and the New York Times reported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised BP to use a less toxic dispersant.[4,5]
Similarly, toxic children's products continue to flood American markets even though non-toxic alternatives are available both here in the U.S., as well as in other countries which have more effective oversight of the chemicals industry.
This situation with the oil spill dispersants is just one of the many reasons why our nation's chemical policy needs to be reformed now (yesterday, in fact):
- American babies are now being born polluted with more than 300 industrial chemicals. This is a big problem because pregnant women, developing fetuses, and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals.
- Under the current law, the EPA has been able to require testing on only about 200 of the 80,000 chemicals that have been on the market since the law passed in 1976.
- In the last 34 years, only 5 chemicals have had their use restricted by the EPA. In the last 18 years, no chemicals have been restricted.
Keep in mind that all of the above is happening as rates of asthma, diabetes, childhood cancers, breast cancer, infertility and learning and developmental disabilities associated with health-harming chemicals keep increasing.
It's not too late for us to work together to make sure that the toys on our shelves, the products our families use every day, and the chemicals used in our environment are safer.
*It's time for Congress to take action and pass the Safe Chemicals Act with an amendment to include oil spill dispersants. Send a letter today by clicking here: http://action.momsrising.org/go/SafeChemicalsAct/219?akid=2167.150190.CcRYwV&t=6
And please also take a moment now to forward this email around far and wide to friends and family so they can contact Congress too. It's going to take all of our voices together to move the Safe Chemicals Act forward in the face of opposition from powerful corporate chemical lobbyists.
We need immediate action to provide better oversight of the chemicals industry to protect the Gulf, Gulf workers, and all of America’s children and families.
Thank you. Together we are a powerful force for women, children, and families.
-- Kristin, Donna, Mary, Joan, Sarah, Claire, Ariana, Anita, and the MomsRising Team
p.s. Here's a link to a statement from hundreds of environmental and public health groups calling on Congress to address dispersants in the overhaul of the Toxics Substances Control Act.
Millions of gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. To make matters worse, the chemicals they're using to disperse the oil are toxic.
That's why Congress has to take action and pass the Safe Chemicals Act!