This Election Day, vote out toxic chemicals!

Check out this OP-ED piece authored by UVM Student Megan Noonan that ran election day in the Burlington Free Press:

Typically, I do not look towards elected officials in my health care decision. I take personal responsibility: I don’t smoke, I eat a balanced diet, I exercise, and I wear sunscreen. I trust that decisions made between my doctor and me are adequate for my good health. But in the case of toxic chemicals, I entrust the responsibility to my elected officials to ensure that I am not exposed to hazardous substances in everyday products.

At the federal level, legislation and federal agencies have failed us in this task. Only a small fraction of the 84,000-odd chemicals in use in the United States have been adequately tested for health impacts, especially long term risks like cancer and reproductive problems.

In Vermont, people are getting fired up about toxic chemical reform. Act 188, an act relating to the regulation of toxic substances, (more commonly known as the Toxic Free Families Act) was passed this year with broad public support, and it sets the foundation to remove hazardous chemicals from children’s products. This is a great step in the right direction, but further action needs to be taken.

This election season, I’m looking out for the representatives who will fight to expand this act to protect not only our children, but also entire families. All Vermonters should live without fear that the everyday products that they handle and apply to their bodies will not

harm their health. When I vote, I will be looking for candidates who want to protect public health, both in Vermont and around the nation, and are willing to stand up to the powerful chemical industry.

To all who go out and vote on Nov. 4, I urge you to ask your representatives what they have done to help implement, educate on, and expand the Toxic Free Families Act in Vermont. Make sure they know that Vermonters are passionate about further reform, and that we expect them to take strong action to protect our health.

Megan Noonan, UVM Class of 2015, lives in Burlington

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