I recently learned that of the 25 Maine volunteers who were tested for detectable levels of phthalates in their bodies, all 25 tested positive for phthalates. These chemicals have been linked to serious human health effects like asthma, birth defects, and learning disabilities, and are somehow still being used in everyday plastic products.

I find it appalling that, with the increasing wealth of knowledge we have on these chemicals, manufacturers still do not have to label their products for phthalate use.

The good news is that Maine citizens have brought a proposal to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, backed by over 2,000 petition signatures, asking them to adopt a rule that would gather information about phthalates in consumer products.

I know that the European Union is planning to phase out all use of three of these phthalates in the next 10 months. With the recent Fourth of July holiday, I want to know that the state will protect its citizens against the dangers these chemicals pose. So I’m asking Maine DEP: Help us get more transparency on phthalates in our products, so that we can take the first steps towards preventing unnecessary harm.

— Special to the Telegram.