In a packed committee room in the Senate, VPIRG’s environmental health advocate, Lauren Hierl, presented lawmakers with a persuasive case: Step up and take action to keep Vermont kids safe from toxic chemical threats.
Here’s an excerpt of VPIRG’s testimony in support of S. 239, a bill to strengthen protections against toxic chemicals:
My own son was born with a birth defect, hypospadias, which has skyrocketed in recent years, and exposure to toxic chemicals has been implicated. Even in his case, what was fortunately a mild defect still resulted in a lot of stress in our family, numerous visits to medical specialists, and expensive medical bills. The health impacts we’re discussing today are real impacts on families across Vermont.
State-level action is needed because the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is failing to protect us from dangerous chemicals. The recent tragedy in West Virginia highlighted some of the failures of TSCA, when hundreds of thousands of Americans were unable to drink or even bathe in their water after a largely untested chemical spilled into their water supply. Some failures of TSCA are most appropriately dealt with at the federal level, but Vermont can and should take steps to better protect our residents from unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals.