As a parent and an advocate, I am very concerned about toxic chemicals in our homes and workplaces. I am tired of hearing about the barrage of chemicals that we are unwillingly exposed to on a daily basis. I am especially concerned to know about the links between exposure to toxic chemicals and a variety of health problems such as cancer, hormone disruption and harm to the developing brain. Many of these chemicals are persistent, meaning they stay in our bodies and the environment.
During its special session June 29, the Connecticut legislature passed a number of items as budget implementers. Two of these are of particular importance to our environment and the health of our citizens - a strong law banning plastic microbeads used in cosmetics and personal care products, and enhanced notification prior to a pesticide application on school grounds, along with restrictions on the use of pesticides on municipal playgrounds.
Microbeads, or polyethylene microspheres, are tiny beads of plastic that are used as abrasives in over 100 personal care products such as toothpaste and face scrubs. Sizes range from one millimeter to as small as a blood cell. A single product may contain as many as 350,000 plastic microbeads.
HARTFORD -- A coalition of lawmakers and child advocates said Tuesday toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases must be banned from children's products and canned goods.
"A decade ago, I pretty much poisoned my kids on a daily basis with their car seats and jewelry that they put in their mouths," said state Rep. Kim Fawcett, D-Fairfield. "I never knew that the federal government would allow these products to be exposed to my children."
Fawcett joined a group of legislators and advocates to urge the General Assembly to support a trio of bills designed to remove harmful chemicals from food and children's products, or at least let parents know the substances are there.