As a mother to two young boys, I am always working hard to make sure they are healthy and safe. As soon as I was pregnant with my first child, I started being careful about what I ate and drank and taking precautions to make sure dangerous products didn’t end up in my home.

When my boys were babies, I read labels and made sure I wasn’t giving them toys or food that contained any dangerous chemicals.

As they got older, I realized that there were far more toxic chemicals in consumer products than I had imagined. Recently, I have learned of a class of chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates make plastic durable but flexible and are found in everything from vinyl flooring to raincoats to nail polish. Mountains of scientific evidence link toxic phthalates to very serious problems, ranging from reproductive birth defects to lowered IQ and learning disabilities to asthma.

Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t have to disclose when their products include that class of toxic chemicals. Phthalates could be in the flooring at my children’s school or in the shower curtain in our bathroom and I would have no idea.

Thankfully, the Maine Legislature has the chance to take action with the recent introduction of a strong bipartisan bill (LD 948) that will give parents the information they need about phthalates and other toxic chemicals to protect their families.

State Representatives should support that common sense bill.

Kate Brennan, Greene

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