Friday, March 21, 2008

Weird Wally got this post from a good friend who is often very close to the edge. On the other hand, WW also realizes that the edge is where things are happening.


Wonder why so many kids are having so many health problems?

As a result, WW makes this post with strong instinct and no comment.


You have probably heard all about lead in children's toys, but did you know many children's PVC toys contain additional harmful chemicals such as phthalates? Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls-a risk factor for later-life breast cancer. What's worse, when children play with and chew on their toys, they can be exposed to potentially dangerous levels of these harmful chemicals.

We have an opportunity to prevent harm and get these nasty chemicals out of our children's toys, and need your help today to make it happen. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act, WHICH would ban phthalates in children's toys.

What can you do to help right now? Take action! Please contact your senators today and urge them to prevent harm by supporting a ban of phthalates in children's toys by voting yes on S.2663 and to oppose any amendments which would weaken this all too important bill. A sample letter and talking points are found below.

Don't know how to contact your Senators? Look up your Senator by going to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

American children are at risk simply by playing with their toys. This is unacceptable in our country! The European Union and 14 other countries, including Japan, Argentina and Mexico, have already banned these toxic chemicals from their children's toys. In October 2007, California became the first state in the nation to enact a statewide ban on the manufacture, sale or distribution in commerce of children's toys and child care articles that contain phthalates. In addition, approximately a dozen states have introduced - or are considering introducing legislation - to ban phthalates in toys and other consumer products.

Senator Feinstein is planning to offer her toxic toys legislation as an amendment which is expected to be voted on by the full Senate as early as today or tomorrow. Senator Feinstein's amendment (S.2663) would ban six types of phthalates from children's toys and childcare articles, reducing kids' unnecessary exposure to these toxic chemicals. In addition, manufacturers would be required by law to replace the banned phthalates with the "least toxic" alternative and are prohibited from replacing phthalates with chemicals known or suspected of causing cancer, reproductive harm or birth defects.

Thank your for your help in preventing avoidable harm from coming to our children.

Sincerely,

Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator
Center for Health, Environment and Justice

***Sample Letter***

Dear Senator:

I am writing to urge your support of Senator Feinstein's amendment (S. 2663) to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act which would treat phthalates as a banned hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and prohibit their use in children's toys and child care articles. I also urge you to support this amendment and oppose any weakening amendments of this important measure.

The CPSC Reform bill will do much to improve the safety of children's toys. However S.2663 is needed to additionally ban six very harmful chemicals from children's toys and child care articles. This is a common sense approach that prevents avoidable harm from coming to our children simply by playing with their toys. American children need your support on this bill to protect them.

All six substances belong to a family of industrial chemicals called phthalates (pronounced "THA-lates"). Phthalates are used in many soft, plastic toys like rubber ducks, teething rings and bath books and can leech out of these toys when children chew on them. Scientists worldwide have linked phthalates to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls-a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

The European Union and 14 other countries including Japan, Argentina and Mexico have already banned these chemicals from children's toys, and in October 2007 California passed a measure to ban these six phthalates from toys sold in the state. Moreover, nearly a dozen other states have introduced - or are considering introducing - legislation that would ban phthalates from toys and personal care products for kids. All American children deserve the same protection and truly comprehensive reform for product safety.

These chemicals have no place in our children's toys, especially when safe alternatives exist and are being used by Brio, Chicco, Evenflo, First Years, Gerber, and Safety 1st. Additionally, Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us have stated that they will begin phasing out children's toys containing phthalates in the coming months.

Government must be proactive in providing protections for our children today and for generations to come. In considering major reform of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, I urge you to include a ban on phthalates in the final version of legislation.

I applaud Senator Feinstein's leadership on this issue and urge you to support her amendment - and oppose any weakening amendments - that would provide comprehensive protections for our children's health.

Sincerely,
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