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Stroller Brigades Families march for chemicals law reform

by Cheryl Hogue
August 15, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 33

Credit: Allie Wilkinson
Mothers and children demonstrate in New York City on Aug. 10, 2011, urging Congress to pass legislation to reform the federal chemical control law.
Credit: Allie Wilkinson

Debate over the federal law that governs chemical manufacturing now connects Washington, D.C., power circles with the playground set. Last week, parents and children took to the streets in cities in 17 states, including in New York City (pictured), urging Congress to modernize a federal chemical control law.

Dubbed “stroller brigades,” the events involved delivery of letters to members of Congress that ask lawmakers to pass a Senate bill, the proposed Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847).

The legislation would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which governs the manufacture and use of commercial chemicals. TSCA has remained virtually unchanged since signed into law in 1976. Health and environmental advocates, several state legislatures, and the chemical industry generally agree that the law needs updating, though they diverge on particulars.

According to organizers, stroller brigades took place in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Spearheading the effort was Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families—a coalition of health, environmental, and parent groups and businesses that is lobbying for TSCA reform.—Cheryl Hogue


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