Tell Congress to Protect Next Generation Now

Pregnant woman with sonA chemical soup of long-lasting substances like DDT, PCBs and PBDEs has contaminated our environment and our bodies for decades. Most of the global community recognized years ago that these persistent chemicals pose a threat to current and future generations around the world. That's why 169 countries have adopted the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which targets this entire class of chemicals for worldwide phaseout.

As you may know, the U.S. has not yet ratified the Stockholm Convention. Giving EPA the authority to tackle PBTs here are home will bring us one step closer to joining this global effort, and will strengthen our hand in international negotiations to protect current and future generations from these dangerous chemicals.

On March 3rd, PAN delivered this petition with 2,597 signatures to Representative Rush and other key committee members. To learn more about our work on persistent chemicals, please visit our webpages on Pesticides in our Bodies and the POPs Treaty. Thank you for getting involved!

Honorable Bobby L. Rush, Chairman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection
Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Rush:

Thank you for scheduling a hearing on the important topic of “Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT) Chemicals.” We are writing to express our concern about these chemicals, and our strong support for prioritizing action on PBTs in any efforts moving forward to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

PBTs are inherently unsafe. They persist in the environment for many years - often decades. They build up in the food chain, and can pass from mother to child during pregnancy. And they are highly toxic, often at very low levels of exposure. Because of the persistence of these chemicals, low but sustained emissions of PBTs will lead to dangerous levels over time. Many health effects from low-level exposure are long term, sometimes even appearing in the next generation. Both of these properties making traditional risk assessment an ineffective tool for determining and reducing the dangers these chemicals pose.

Some PBTs can also travel across borders, accumulating in the Arctic region where they threaten the health and livelihood of indigenous communities, by contaminating traditional foods and reaching astounding levels in the bodies of indigenous peoples.

We urge you and your colleagues to recognize the urgency of taking action on PBTs, as your international colleagues have done through the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. It’s time to protect the communities of today and future generations of tomorrow from dangerous chemicals. Let’s get our house in order on PBTs.


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