Yesterday, I was honored to speak at a press conference announcing a new report from the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow and the Safe Chemicals Healthy Families Campaign. The report added to the ever-growing body of evidence regarding the link between exposure to chemicals found in many household products and many common, chronic diseases.
This report only further highlights the need to pass the Safer Alternatives Bill, of which I am a co-sponsor, in this legislative session. Passing this legislation will help keep Massachusetts residents – especially children – safer and healthier.
I co-sponsored this bill, and continue to advocate for its passage, because there is strong evidence linking exposure to certain common chemicals to rates of chronic diseases such as cancer, childhood leukemia, learning disabilities and reproductive disorders.
The Safer Alternatives Bill would ensure that if an economically feasible safer alternative to a toxic chemical is found, for a particular use, and the chemical presents a high hazard to Massachusetts residents and workers, programs exist to assist businesses in making a transition to the safer alternative. Not only does this measure reduce exposure to toxic chemicals for everyone in Massachusetts, it does so in a way that supports economic growth.
In addition to providing vital protections from harmful chemicals, this measure will save the Commonwealth millions of dollars in healthcare costs. According to the report released today, Massachusetts would save more than $100 million annually. In this time of fiscal crisis, such savings are another compelling reason to support this legislation.
Not only will this bill save the Commonwealth money, but preventing exposure to toxic chemicals is, quite simply, the right thing to do — and we should do it as soon as possible. As the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, I am working to see this bill reported favorably out of committee. I hope to see the bill brought the floor of the House and Senate for a full vote before the end of this legislative session.
It was great to have the opportunity to speak in favor of this important piece of legislation, and to hear from other legislators and advocates who understand that passing this bill can increase the length and quality of life for millions in Massachusetts. It’s been wonderful to hear from so many constituents about this bill, and, as always, I look forward to your continued input moving forward.