Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Exposure Elimination Act to create a research program through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to further endocrine related research.
There are approximately 80,000 known chemicals in our environment that are potentially harmful. Many of those chemicals have never been tested to determine if they are damaging to human health. Products that American families use every day such as household cleaners, cosmetics, and personal care products could actually be causing them harm.
This legislation establishes the Endocrine Disruption Expert Panel to study and evaluate up to 10 chemicals per year that are potentially endocrine-disrupting to determine whether they have a high, substantial, minimal, or no level of concern. Any chemical that is deemed a high level of concern could be banned from use within 2 years. This commonsense approach provides vital protections against harmful chemicals while giving industry an opportunity to either find a way to eliminate human exposure to the toxin or eliminate it from use.
The increased rate of disorders affecting the human endocrine system is alarming. Children developing in the womb are particularly vulnerable. Many scientists believe there are connections between effects on the endocrine system and the chemicals around us, and it is time to do more about it.
This bill promotes action based on hard, scientific evidence. I urge all my colleagues to support it.