Advocates for safe chemical legislation are in Washington D.C. today lobbying Kentucky’s congressional delegation to support updates to the nation’s toxic chemicals regulations.
Monica Unseld is a biologist and professor from Bardstown who made the trip. She says the country’s 36-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act is outdated and the industry is woefully unregulated.
“We’re trying to raise awareness of the toxic chemicals—there’s over 80,000 of them—that are completely unregulated,” she says. “And they go into our bodies and they’re causing illnesses.”
Unseld and others are lobbying legislators to pass the Safe Chemicals Act, which would require companies to provide detailed information about the safety of their chemicals in order for their product to remain on the market.
So far, Unseld says the bill is meeting opposition from Republicans. She says the bill faces opposition from Senate Republicans, despite the danger some commonly-used chemicals can pose to babies in utero.
“This is a moral issue. This is a health issue. I’m surprised that any politician can claim to be pro-life and not support this bill,” she says. “If you want a child here, you want to give a child a chance. They need to be in an internal environment inside of their mother that’s clean.”
Unseld and others from the Kentucky Environmental Foundation are meeting with the commonwealth’s delegation to ask them to support the bill. The Safe Chemicals Act is currently awaiting a committee hearing in the Senate.