March 24, 2012

Letters to the editor, March 24, 2012
Senators should back product testing

Sens. Snowe and Collins, R-Maine, should co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act. Under the act, the Environmental Protection Agency will test chemicals for safety and toxicity before they end up on the market. Did you think that chemicals were already tested before they went into products? They aren't.

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The Safe Chemicals Act would require testing for safety and toxicity before products end up on store shelves.

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Many of the products in our own homes (stain resistant furniture, floor protectant, nonstick cookware, plastics, light bulbs) threaten one's health because they contain toxic ingredients. Shampoos contain chemicals known to cause cancer. Lead is still allowed in art supplies, hair dyes, lipstick and even imported candy.

As a mother, I am discouraged that everyday chemicals found in our homes, places of work and communities are not regulated, as common sense would dictate. These chemicals are contributing to higher rates of cancer, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and dangers to reproductive health.

The EPA tried to use the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to restrict asbestos in 1989 and failed. No wonder we have to keep raising money to fight cancer. It's because we're not fighting to prevent it.

That's why I'm excited that our 35-year-old toxic chemical law is being reformed to reflect real science. Out of the 80,000 chemicals used in commerce today, 62,000 are "grandfathered," the EPA has tested just over 200; and regulated only five. Really.

Under the Safe Chemicals Act, the EPA would be given new authorities and to take immediate action to reduce exposure to chemicals that have been known toxins for years, like lead and asbestos. Far too many people I know are suffering from cancer.

Our senators have a unique opportunity to protect the health of future generations of Maine families. There would be no better legacy for them than to leave their constituents with a promise of good health and real health reform.

Suzanne A. Foley-Ferguson

Scarborough

High gas prices don't seem to deter those who idle

I guess gas prices aren't really as bad as some folks seem to think. I still see plenty of folks smoking cigarettes while they sit in their parked gas guzzlers with the motor running.

Phyllis Reames

Portland

Senate candidates should tell us their stances on Iran

Last December I wrote to you about Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe's long string of votes to start and feed a hellish war against Iraq. Since then she has decided not to seek a fourth Senate term. The damage she did by backing "Bush's War" dwarfs anything else she may have done with her time during her too-long tenure.

It's nice that she's finally on her way out, and here's hoping the same goes for abominable politicians who have started beating war drums, this time against Iran. All those vying for her vacant Senate seat should tell how they would vote on backing the attack on Iran that's being threatened by Israel and seconded by its toadies.

Marjorie Gallace

Camden

Brady deserves to be paid best among quarterbacks

As a die-hard New England Patriots fan, I am getting increasingly tired of all the various sports experts calling Peyton Manning the best quarterback ever and putting Drew Brees at the same level.

Yes, Manning played for 14 years with the Colts and he has broken many NFL records, but in those years he has only won one Super Bowl.

Brees has also broken many records with the Saints and he to, has won only one Super Bowl.

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