Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition member Moms Rising posted an excellent blog today from Claire Moshenberg. Claire praises our new report, and provides a vivid illustration of the toxic dilemmas confronting today’s families. Read the full blog post at Moms Rising.
“The Health Case for Reforming TSCA,” New Report from Safer Chemicals, Healthy
In Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things, a new book by Environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, there’s a scene where Smith, caught in the middle of a chaotic two-kid-household bedtime routine, is stopped in his tracks by the discovery of flame retardants in his sons’ new pajamas. It was a familiar scene with heavy implications, one that made me think of a similarly fraught pajama story from my own childhood:
I was eight years old, standing with my arms spread out, as my mom tailored one of my dad’s old flannel shirts into a nightgown. My new checkered nightie, the missing piece in an overnight bag for an upcoming sleepover, was 100% cotton and flame retardant free. But the lack of chemicals wasn’t the reason I was wearing a repurposed version of my dad’s shirt. I was wearing his shirt because there was no money for new pajamas.
Money was tight, and over the years there were a lot of things we couldn’t afford. /When I think of my mom at that time, sitting on the couch with a calculator, a pile of bills, and a worried face, I wonder what she would have thought if someone had told her to go into our shower and throw almost everything away./ If someone had said that we had to ransack our cupboards, toss out our canned soups and plastic tupperwares, and then replace our furniture, our toys, even our clothes, or my sister and I would be at risk for cancer, infertility, and learning disabilities.
I know what she would have thought: How did these toxins get into our home? And how could we possibly afford to replace all of things they’d tainted? I know not being able to protect her children would have broken her heart.
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families just released a new report, “ The Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act.” As I read it, I thought of my mom at that age, and the family she worked so hard every day to keep healthy and safe. I know I would never want her or any other mother to feel powerless when it comes to protecting their kids. We need to protect all of our children and take the toxins out of the goods we use every day. And to do this, we need TSCA reform.
We can change the foods we eat, the products we buy, the pajamas we purchase, but it’s not enough. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to make those lifestyle changes, chemicals are so ubiquitous that you and your children will still encounter them at your schools, workplaces, at their friends homes: the list goes on. But there is one big change we all can make: we can work together to reform TSCA. To learn more about the important work Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is doing around this issue and to check out their new report, visit www.saferchemicals.org. You can also send a letter to Congress urging action on TSCA reform!