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Seventh Generation Launches the Million Baby Crawl for Toxic Chemical Reform

Kathryn Siranosian | Thursday November 19th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Take a look at the baby in this video. He’s innocent, adorable, and completely irresistible . . .

At least that’s how Seventh Generation hopes the U.S. Congress sees it.

Seventh Generation, the nation’s leading brand of non-toxic and environmentally-safe household and personal care products, has joined forces with eco-advocate Erin Brockovich and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families to launch the Million Baby Crawl, a grassroots effort designed to urge Congress to pass stronger regulations regarding the chemicals used in household products.

Currently, synthetic chemicals are regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), an outdated law that experts say has utterly failed to keep us safe from substances that cause cancer and a host of other serious illnesses. Under the TSCA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have the authority to demand the information it needs to evaluate a chemical’s risk, and neither manufacturers nor the agency are required to prove a chemical’s safety before it can be used.

As a result, in the 33 years since the TSCA was enacted, the EPA has required testing on only 200 of the more than 80,000 chemical compounds now in use.  Only 200 of 80,000? That’s an astonishingly small 0.25%!

Fortunately, a new proposal to reform the TSCA is in the Congressional pipeline. This new bill will:

  • establish tough new safety standards for each chemical on the market,
  • require manufacturers to prove that the chemicals they use meet these standards before they can be included in the products people buy, and
  • give the EPA new authority to restrict any substances that fail to pass the test.

Seventh Generation created the Million Baby Crawl to rally support for this updated Kid-Safe Chemical Act. The online initiative is designed to educate parents, empower them to work on the legislation’s behalf, and help them create crawling, baby avatars. The result will be a virtual march, or crawl, to Washington, D.C., where all of these diapered avatars will “rattle” legislators for toxic chemical reform.

“We assume our homes are safe havens, but the fact is that the vast majority of the chemical compounds found in the products we use there have never been tested. And in most cases manufacturers don’t even have to tell us on product labels what those toxins are. This is a dangerous recipe for harm that virtually every family is exposed to every day,” said Seventh Generation co-founder and Chief Inspired Protagonist, Jeffrey Hollender, in a press release. “We’re on a mission to come together and change that once and for all.”

To learn how you can get involved locally to support stronger standards for toxic chemicals and to make your own baby avatar that will crawl to Washington, D.C., and rally support for toxic chemical reform, visit www.MillionBabyCrawl.com.


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  • Charli

    Thanks Ms. Siranosian, for posting something about keeping our kids safe. I think making industrial chemicals safe for infants and children is something we can all get behind. Problem is: mandating more chemical testing, the kind being advocated by the Safer Chemicals coalition, will kill millions of animals, cost lots of money, and give use questionable results.

    Many people and scientists agree that current legislation which regulates chemicals must be reformed. However, we should also be sure to reform the science that underlies these regulations—namely, the way in which toxicity testing is conducted.

    Currently, toxicity testing is largely based on experiments in animals and uses methods that were developed as long ago as the 1930’s and 40’s; they and are slow, inaccurate, open to uncertainty and manipulation, and do not adequately protect human health. These tests take anywhere from months to years, and tens of thousands to millions of dollars to perform. More importantly, the current testing paradigm has a poor record in predicting effects in humans and an even poorer record in leading to actual regulation of dangerous chemicals.

    Fortunately, many scientists have worked, and are working, on addressing these problems — and alternatives to animal testing exist in a powerful way. Chemical reform should not only modernize policy, but modernize the science that supports that policy. Let’s ensure Kids-Safe uses all the necessary tools to truly make our children, our environment, and animals safe.

  • Kathryn Siranosian

    Well said. Thanks for adding this perspective, Charli.

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