Exposure to toxic chemicals in our daily lives is pervasive, which is all the more disturbing given what we know today about how they can potentially affect our health, causing birth defects and cancer for example. We’re not powerless in protecting ourselves though. Legislation that would better protect us against the side effects of toxic chemical exposure awaits action in Congress. Apart from benefiting public health, improved protections can also create jobs across the country and in Michigan.
United Steelworkers District 2 Director, Michael Bolton explains more about how stronger protections against toxic chemicals can benefit everyone:
"Legislation is moving in the U.S. Senate that could create more jobs for Michigan workers, make products safer and reduce cancer, birth defects and other health problems. These three real improvements in the lives of Michiganders could come from passage of Safe Chemicals Act, which modernizes the out-of-date and ineffective 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.
"Without these reforms, uncertainty in the industry puts thousands of jobs at risk. Michigan stands to lose more than 7,000 jobs by 2030 if we fail to act.
"For example, chemical manufacturers should be required to demonstrate the safety of their products by publicly disclosing information about health and environmental hazards on every chemical they make. Reforms should give EPA the teeth to regulate toxic chemicals by granting clear authority to establish health and safety standards."
Read the full OpEd here.