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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of concerned citizens gathered at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's headquarters to deliver a message.

"We are here today because phthalates are dangerous chemicals, but a few simple actions could make a tremendous difference in reducing harm," stated Megan Rice, a mother of two young daughters. "Phthalates, as you can see here, are used to soften plastics, so they show up in our kids' lunch boxes, their backpacks, their school supplies. They are also common around the house in shower curtains, floor tiles, table clothes and wall coverings."

Rice says they are also found in personal care products and lotions, and have been linked to a wide range of health problems - from asthma to learning disabilities, birth defects, and even cancer.

"We know that phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause real havoc with our children's health, but parents or pregnant women don't have enough information to know where to find phthalates or how to avoid them," said Katie Mae Simpson, another concerned parent.

"We can't shop our way out of this problem," she added. "Chemical companies aren't required to test for health and safety hazards, and manufacturers of most consumer products aren't required to disclose their chemical ingredients."

To try and force manufacturers to provide information about what products contain phthalates, the group delivered more than two-thousand petitions to the D.E.P. urging the department to change the law by adding four phthalates to a list of priority chemicals that need to be reported in products sold in Maine.

"We are really looking at just a right to know, not a petition to ban all phthalates," said Dr. Steve Feder, President Maine Chapter Maine of American Academy of Pediatrics.
"As a practicing pediatrician, I confronted daily with questions about developmental issues, cognitive delays, ADD, autism, learning disabilities, and what are some of the potential factors leading to these things, and certainly toxins such as phthalates are on that list," he said.

Officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection say the science is uncertain about phthalates. They point to a Food and Drug Administration study that shows inconclusive results about the impacts of phthalates on people. That's why the D.E.P. is hesitant to add these four phthalates to the list because Maine would be the first state to take that step and manufacturers want the same rules in place in every state they sell their goods in explained Jessamine Logan, the department's communications director.

"Phthalates is a dangerous chemical, and the information about where phthalates are doesn't exist already," complained Emma Halas-O'Connor, a member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. She says phthalates meet the criteria to be listed under the state's Kid Safe Products Act because there is science showing the chemicals are a health concern and are commonly found not only in household products, but in our bodies as well.

She says a full one hundred percent of twenty-five people tested for phthalates were found to have the chemicals in their bodies. She says that's why they want to know what products they are in so they can reduce their exposure and risk for illness.

"No one could pinpoint a product and say, 'that is how I got phthalates in my body'," she said. "You shouldn't have to be a scientist to be able to figure out what is safe."

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of concerned citizens gathered at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's headquarters to deliver a message.

"We are here today because phthalates are dangerous chemicals, but a few simple actions could make a tremendous difference in reducing harm," stated Megan Rice, a mother of two young daughters. "Phthalates, as you can see here, are used to soften plastics, so they show up in our kids' lunch boxes, their backpacks, their school supplies. They are also common around the house in shower curtains, floor tiles, table clothes and wall coverings."

Rice says they are also found in personal care products and lotions, and have been linked to a wide range of health problems - from asthma to learning disabilities, birth defects, and even cancer.

"We know that phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause real havoc with our children's health, but parents or pregnant women don't have enough information to know where to find phthalates or how to avoid them," said Katie Mae Simpson, another concerned parent.

"We can't shop our way out of this problem," she added. "Chemical companies aren't required to test for health and safety hazards, and manufacturers of most consumer products aren't required to disclose their chemical ingredients."

To try and force manufacturers to provide information about what products contain phthalates, the group delivered more than two-thousand petitions to the D.E.P. urging the department to change the law by adding four phthalates to a list of priority chemicals that need to be reported in products sold in Maine.

"We are really looking at just a right to know, not a petition to ban all phthalates," said Dr. Steve Feder, President Maine Chapter Maine of American Academy of Pediatrics.
"As a practicing pediatrician, I confronted daily with questions about developmental issues, cognitive delays, ADD, autism, learning disabilities, and what are some of the potential factors leading to these things, and certainly toxins such as phthalates are on that list," he said.

Officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection say the science is uncertain about phthalates. They point to a Food and Drug Administration study that shows inconclusive results about the impacts of phthalates on people. That's why the D.E.P. is hesitant to add these four phthalates to the list because Maine would be the first state to take that step and manufacturers want the same rules in place in every state they sell their goods in explained Jessamine Logan, the department's communications director.

"Phthalates is a dangerous chemical, and the information about where phthalates are doesn't exist already," complained Emma Halas-O'Connor, a member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. She says phthalates meet the criteria to be listed under the state's Kid Safe Products Act because there is science showing the chemicals are a health concern and are commonly found not only in household products, but in our bodies as well.

She says a full one hundred percent of twenty-five people tested for phthalates were found to have the chemicals in their bodies. She says that's why they want to know what products they are in so they can reduce their exposure and risk for illness.

"No one could pinpoint a product and say, 'that is how I got phthalates in my body'," she said. "You shouldn't have to be a scientist to be able to figure out what is safe."

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of concerned citizens gathered at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's headquarters to deliver a message.

"We are here today because phthalates are dangerous chemicals, but a few simple actions could make a tremendous difference in reducing harm," stated Megan Rice, a mother of two young daughters. "Phthalates, as you can see here, are used to soften plastics, so they show up in our kids' lunch boxes, their backpacks, their school supplies. They are also common around the house in shower curtains, floor tiles, table clothes and wall coverings."

Rice says they are also found in personal care products and lotions, and have been linked to a wide range of health problems - from asthma to learning disabilities, birth defects, and even cancer.

"We know that phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause real havoc with our children's health, but parents or pregnant women don't have enough information to know where to find phthalates or how to avoid them," said Katie Mae Simpson, another concerned parent.

"We can't shop our way out of this problem," she added. "Chemical companies aren't required to test for health and safety hazards, and manufacturers of most consumer products aren't required to disclose their chemical ingredients."

To try and force manufacturers to provide information about what products contain phthalates, the group delivered more than two-thousand petitions to the D.E.P. urging the department to change the law by adding four phthalates to a list of priority chemicals that need to be reported in products sold in Maine.

"We are really looking at just a right to know, not a petition to ban all phthalates," said Dr. Steve Feder, President Maine Chapter Maine of American Academy of Pediatrics.
"As a practicing pediatrician, I confronted daily with questions about developmental issues, cognitive delays, ADD, autism, learning disabilities, and what are some of the potential factors leading to these things, and certainly toxins such as phthalates are on that list," he said.

Officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection say the science is uncertain about phthalates. They point to a Food and Drug Administration study that shows inconclusive results about the impacts of phthalates on people. That's why the D.E.P. is hesitant to add these four phthalates to the list because Maine would be the first state to take that step and manufacturers want the same rules in place in every state they sell their goods in explained Jessamine Logan, the department's communications director.

"Phthalates is a dangerous chemical, and the information about where phthalates are doesn't exist already," complained Emma Halas-O'Connor, a member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. She says phthalates meet the criteria to be listed under the state's Kid Safe Products Act because there is science showing the chemicals are a health concern and are commonly found not only in household products, but in our bodies as well.

She says a full one hundred percent of twenty-five people tested for phthalates were found to have the chemicals in their bodies. She says that's why they want to know what products they are in so they can reduce their exposure and risk for illness.

"No one could pinpoint a product and say, 'that is how I got phthalates in my body'," she said. "You shouldn't have to be a scientist to be able to figure out what is safe."

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