Senate Passage Marks a Major Step in Toxic-Free Families Act

The Vermont state Senate voted 17-11 today to support legislation that will provide significant new protections against exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products.

The legislation (S.239) would give the Department of Health new powers to identify and regulate potentially dangerous toxins.

“This bill will help to keep the most dangerous toxins out of consumer products in Vermont,” said Taylor Johnson, VPIRG Environmental Health Associate. “Everyone from kids to firefighters will be safer because of it.  Bottom line, this is a huge win for public health in Vermont.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont held a State House press conference on Wednesday, March 26th to urge passage of the bill.

“As firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, we go to work every day and understand the inherent risks we face,” said Ben O’Brien, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont. “However, we have drawn a line in the sand by saying no to harmful and unnecessary chemicals in consumer products. We see far too many firefighters leaving the profession with occupational illnesses.”

The legislation now heads to the House for consideration there.

“This is one of the most comprehensive chemical reform bills in the nation,” said Johnson. “At a time when the federal government is utterly failing to provide sufficient regulation of harmful toxins, Vermont is stepping up to protect its citizens and provide a model for other states.”

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were:
Ashe, Ayer, Baruth, Bray, Campbell, Cummings, Doyle, French, Galbraith, Lyons, MacDonald, McCormack, Mullin, Pollina, Sirotkin, White, Zuckerman.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were:
Benning, Flory, Hartwell, Kitchel, Mazza, Nitka, Rodgers, Sears, Snelling, Starr,  Westman.

Those Senators absent for the vote were:
Collins, McAllister.

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