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Toxics: current laws are weak
I was encouraged to see Rivy Poupko Kletenik’s op-ed last week on the continued use of toxic flame retardants in children’s products. The Jewish tradition — like many religious traditions — holds a reverence for life. We are not allowed to engage in actions that harm others or ourselves. But how can we do this as long as we live in a world where the everyday objects that surround us could be harming us, and especially our children?
Current laws on toxic chemicals are very weak. This means that most — over 80,000 — chemicals sold in products in the U.S. have never been tested for toxic effects, while others whose dangers are known remain unregulated and unlabeled. Congress is considering a much-needed update of federal laws, which must be strengthened to protect all consumers.
Closer to home, the Washington state Legislature will again be considering the Toxic Free Kids and Families’ Act in the coming session. I urge all Mercer Island readers to contact Sen. Steve Litzow to pass this legislation to make sure our kids and our families have the benefit of strong regulation for safe chemicals in all products that we buy. Our religious values call for this, as does our common sense.