Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) received the inaugural Champion for Children Award presented by the Children's Environmental Health Center (CEHC) at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Senator Lautenberg was honored for his work to reform toxic chemical laws and to protect children's health.
"Keeping our families and children safe and healthy is a top priority. Today, there are thousands of chemicals on the market that have never been proven safe and parents are left to guess whether a chemical is helpful or hazardous. The Safe Chemicals Act would ensure that the chemicals we are exposed to every day have been tested and proven safe for children, mothers, and all Americans," Lautenberg said. "I am honored to receive this award from Mount Sinai's Children's Environmental Health Center. The Center has conducted important research to identify environmental hazards and protect our children from dangerous exposure. We will keep working to help assure parents that their children are safe from hazardous chemicals."
The Champion for Children Award was presented by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Director of Mount Sinai's Children's Environmental Health Center. The CEHC's mission is to protect children against environmental threats to health. The CEHC conducts research to discover the environmental causes of disease in children, including autism, learning disabilities, asthma, obesity, and childhood cancer. Research conducted at the Center has found that toxic exposures in early life can affect health and cause disease in childhood and across the entire human life span.
Senator Lautenberg, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, has introduced the "Safe Chemicals Act," legislation to modernize the "Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976" (TSCA) and protect Americans from exposure to dangerous toxins. The legislation seeks to require -- for the first time -- that chemical manufacturers demonstrate the safety of industrial chemicals used in everyday household products. More information about the Safe Chemicals Act is available here.
In addition, Senator Lautenberg has worked to protect children's health as a longtime leader in the fight against Big Tobacco. His record on fighting the tobacco industry includes writing the landmark laws that banned smoking on airplanes and in federally funded places that serve children. Lautenberg also led the fight to prevent tobacco companies from misleading smokers into thinking that so-called "light cigarettes" are healthier than regular cigarettes.