I write today about my concerns with phthalates – chemicals that disrupt our hormones and harm our brain, reproductive and immune systems, yet are found everywhere including in cosmetics and other personal care products (hidden behind the word “fragrance”). As owner of Amore Styles, a hair salon in Portland, I am affected by these dangerous chemicals, as are my customers and those in salons all across Maine.

Conversations at Amore often turn to chemicals, product safety and impact on our health and environment. I’ve got customers with severe allergies; customers with children who have learning disabilities; customers struggling to get pregnant and wondering why. There are so many questions, and not enough answers.

This is why I support the citizen-initiated process at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to name four hormone-disrupting phthalates as action priorities under Maine’s Kid-Safe Product law. If phthalates were on the list, we would – at least – have more information, and product manufacturers would be required to report the use of these deadly chemicals in products sold in Maine like clothing, flooring, lotions, shampoo and more.

It would be incredibly helpful for salon owners and stylists to have this information as we choose which products to use and sell, and answer customer questions. As a business owner, I want to use the safest products for my employees and customers.

Here in Maine, if we work together, we can make a big difference. That’s why I’m proud to be from Maine and own my business.

I urge the DEP to stand up for Maine families and businesses by approving this rule and helping us get good information about these dangerous chemicals.

Brenda Broder

Portland