What do sperm, kids, salmon, and orcas have in common besides that they all swim? All can be harmed by toxic chemicals put in consumer products!
The good news is that the Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act will help protect these swimmers from harmful chemicals. Here are the top five reasons to support this important bill:
#1: SSB 5135 is good for big swimmers – orcas! The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act will help address toxic chemical pollution to Puget Sound, one of the three largest threats facing orcas and their prey, Chinook salmon. The bill is modeled from Recommendation #30 from the Governor’s Orca Task Force, and will direct the Department of Ecology to identify and take action on chemicals in consumer products that affect sensitive populations as well as sensitive species like orcas.
#2: SSB 5135 is good for little swimmers – kids! Children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals, because their bodies and brains are still developing and their exposures are higher. The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act addresses five classes of harmful chemicals that are a concern for kids’ health. For example, alkylphenols have been shown to cause effects on learning and memory in laboratory studies. In the U.S., eight percent of children have diagnosed learning disabilities, and among children living below the poverty level, twelve percent have learning disabilities.
#3: SSB 5135 is good for the littlest swimmers – sperm! Recent studies have found that sperm counts in western countries have declined nearly 60 percent in the last 45 years! Toxic chemicals used in consumer products, like phthalates, are associated with decreased sperm quantity and quality, and researchers point to toxic chemical exposure as a leading cause of this dramatic decline. The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act will take action on phthalates and other chemicals that can negatively impact fertility.
#4: SSB 5135 will promote a safer marketplace. The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act will help manufacturers produce safer products and make it easier for retailers to eliminate chemicals that may harm public and environmental health. Many businesses indicate that consumer pressure is already moving the market to a direction of safer products, so this bill will help companies make the transition. This bill ultimately helps business with its shared responsibility to public health by providing a guide of which chemicals are safest and which are best avoided.
#5: It’s time for action. The Children’s Safe Products Act passed in 2008 and requires that manufacturers of children’s products report toxic chemicals in their products to the Department of Ecology. Ecology recently made public more than 8,700 new reports made between September 1, 2017 and December 31. 2018–a record number of reports in a reporting cycle. We now have nearly a decade of reporting data, which in effect has created a list of chemicals waiting for action. The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act will give the Department of Ecology the tools it needs to finally address these chemicals. Harmful chemicals have no business in products designed for kids, after all!
The bill recently cleared a major hurdle and passed the Senate! Now the bill must pass the House before reaching the Governor’s desk. Please send a message to your representatives urging their support of this bill to save the swimmers!