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Raising our children to be volunteers

My husband and I are raising our kids as Tennessee Volunteers. The Volunteer State is all about volunteerism, pride and patriotism – all good qualities. One thing we’re not volunteering for is allowing our children to be unwitting participants in experiments of toxic chemical exposures. When household products, even those marketed for children and babies, are made from ingredients untested for long-term safety, and when the law says we’re not even allowed to read all of the ingredients that belong on the label, it seems our children have become guinea pigs for the chemical industry.

Not acceptable.

Many other Tennessee parents and grandparents are also concerned about the health of the children in their lives. Dozens and dozens of them we met at the parenting expo, and they are sending a clear message to their U.S. Senators that we want passage of the Safe Chemicals Act. Alarming rates of early puberty, learning disabilities, infertility and childhood cancer are not acceptable. Parents expect that if we know certain substances might be causing harm, we should keep those toxins out of our consumer products.

Public policy needs to keep pace with the latest science.

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families materials
It was an honor hosting the information table for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition and sharing educational resources from member group Women’s Voices for the Earth. It was great chatting with expectant mothers and fathers about how they’re preparing for Baby with an increased awareness of environmental health.

It was heartbreaking sharing stories of cancer loss with a widow still reeling over losing the love of her life. It was interesting as men from different vocations inquired how this Safe Chemicals Act might affect them. It was hopeful hearing how people are already simplifying their households and finding alternatives to some products with mystery ingredients like “fragrance.”

Senator Bob Corker’s office and Senator Lamar Alexander’s office will be receiving postcards soon from more constituents who implore them to co-sponsor and support the Safe Chemicals Act. These are concerned Tennesseans, parents and grandparents, who agree it’s time for common sense limits on toxic chemicals.

You can also tell your senators, from Tennessee or another state, that you want Congress to act on this common sense measure, by taking action here with other parents, medical professionals, industry leaders, scientists and consumer advocates.

Here in the Volunteer State, just like your home state, we want healthy families.

To follow Anne on Twitter: @FlourSackMama