Senate Committee Advances Bill to Protect Vermonters from Toxic Exposures

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare voted unanimously today (4-0) to pass legislation (S.239) designed to protect Vermont families from toxic chemicals in consumer products.

“Vermonters shouldn’t have to worry about chemicals lurking in everyday products that could make them or their families sick,” said Taylor Johnson, environmental health associate at VPIRG. “This straightforward legislation will help keep kids safe, and we thank Senator Ginny Lyons and the rest of the Senate Committee on Health & Welfare for their leadership on this important issue.”

Scientific evidence continues to mount linking toxic chemical exposure to alarming public health trends, including increasing rates of childhood and other cancers, asthma, infertility, learning disabilities and more.

“Reducing risks from toxic chemicals to our kids and families shouldn’t require a new law for each harmful chemical found in consumer products. It is time we enact comprehensive chemical reforms that protect our kids, our environment and our public health future,” said Senator Ginny Lyons, a leading sponsor of the bill.

With federal regulations failing to protect public health, Vermont has stepped up repeatedly to restrict specific chemicals from consumer products, including lead, mercury, phthalates, and more. Last year, the legislature voted unanimously to ban a cancer-causing flame retardant chemical (chlorinated Tris) from furniture and children’s products. The Toxic-Free Families Act (S.239) would take a more comprehensive approach.

The Toxic-Free Families Act, S.239, would:

  • Authorize the Vermont Department of Health to identify chemicals of concern to public health or the environment.
  • Require manufacturers to report if they’re using those chemicals in consumer products sold in Vermont.
  • Set up a process for identifying priority chemicals for further regulatory action, including phasing out the toxins in favor of safer alternatives.

Click here to check out great photos and video from Toxic-Free Families Day!