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Public Statements

Department Of The Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2007)

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Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to strongly support this amendment. This amendment would simply put in $1 million and then take back out $1 million for the purpose of directing the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Research to use these funds to conduct initial long-term testing of children exposed to mercury from mercury-contaminated industrial sites.

Last July, I learned that a daycare center in my district had been opened mistakenly on a site that was previously used by a thermometer manufacturer. The manufacturer had a history of mercury contamination and had not properly cleaned up the site.

The mercury contamination of this site was so egregious that parents spoke of their children coming home from the daycare center with bubbles of mercury clinging to their backpacks. As a result of this, the children who innocently played on the grounds of the daycare center were diagnosed with mercury levels much higher than normal and suffered symptoms of mercury poisoning, such as headaches, sleeping problems and rashes.

As you may know, mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the nervous system.

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Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I thank the chairman and Mr. Tiahrt.

I would just like to point out that this incident demonstrated that children can, unfortunately, be exposed to mercury from contaminated industrial sites. The amendment will help ensure that funding will be available for any Member in any district that this may take place.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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