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Banning toxic chemicals should be a top priority

The Child Safe Products Act, currently on deck to be reviewed by the New York State Senate, once again brings to the table the fact that harmful chemicals are still found in children’s everyday environment. At the Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York, we share information pertaining to neurotoxicity and healthy choices with the individuals we serve. Public knowledge on this subject is crucial, and will be the driving force for change.

The Toxic Substances Control Act, established in 1976, is the main law regulating chemicals in everyday products. Yet the new Child Safe Products Act contains a list of 1,800 chemicals linked to health problems currently found in everyday products.

Due to ineffective laws, the public knows little to nothing about developmental neurotoxicity and why these chemicals should be regulated. Many of these chemicals are linked to learning disabilities and other cognitive disorders in children. This past February, the Harvard School of Public Health released a study about toxic chemicals linked to brain disorders in children, such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia.

With today’s science, we have the ability to test industrial chemicals for harmful effects on children’s brain development. Regular testing of these chemicals is possible and the results could be shared with the consumer, and/or banned if chemicals are linked to neurotoxicity.

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (www.saferchemicals.com) is a great resource for information about toxic chemicals in our homes, places of work and products we use. I encourage all readers to educate themselves about the harmful effects of these chemicals.

Parrish Gibbons

Director, Community Relations

Learning Disabilities Association

of Western New York