This past year, thousands of you have joined us in fighting for the right to know which items on store shelves contain toxic chemicals called phthalates. Over 2,000 signed the citizen-initiated petition. Over 1,600 of you submitted comments in favor of the rule. And over 80 of you showed up in person at the public hearing in Augusta this summer. We’ve said it before — and we’ll say it again: WOW!
That’s why we were shocked and disappointed when last month, the Maine DEP decided to not adopt the citizen-initiated rule. Instead, the they announced a new version — one that purposefully leaves kids and families (and especially pregnant women!) at risk.
DEP’s new rule will only include industry-defined “children’s products,” meaning items that are directly marketed to children ages 0 -12 — so products like shampoo and make up wouldn’t make the list. But these items are often used by kids, pregnant women, and families. That’s why we need your help.
Please join us in telling the DEP to adopt the original, citizen-initiated rule in full! The deadline to submit a comment is February 17th, so there’s no time to lose.
Need help crafting a comment? We’ve made it easy:
- Don’t forget the basics: Start strong by including information on who you are, where you’re from, and why you care about protecting kids and families from toxic chemicals. Maybe you’re a new or expecting parent, and concerned about how to keep your family safe; maybe you’re a teacher in a classroom with kids; or maybe you work at a business like a hair salon, where you and your colleagues are potentially exposed to phthalates on the job. Be sure to explain why this issue is personal to you.
- Use science to back up your case: Research has linked phthalate exposure to premature birth, prostate and testicular cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive harm, autism, asthma, and many other health concerns. Plus, prenatal exposure to phthalates can be the most damaging.
- Drive it home: Maine families deserve the right to know which everyday products contain toxic phthalates — not a watered-down version that purposefully leaves kids and pregnant women at risk. Mainers like us demand full protection from toxic phthalates!
- Be true to you: In the end, don’t be afraid to tell your own story. If our tips don’t work for you, don’t feel beholden to them. Your comment should reflect your voice and values.
No matter what, the clock is ticking! We’re just days away from the deadline to submit a comment — February 17, 2015 — so please send an email to submit a comment now. And, leave us a comment or send us an email with a copy of what you said; we’d love to know!