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Public Statements

Sen. Franken Introduces Bill to Protect Consumers from Potentially Harmful Chemicals in their Homes

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is pushing legislation to protect Minnesotans from exposure to dangerous toxins found in household products.

Sen. Franken is a cosponsor of a bill that would fix the current law that allows chemicals to be used in common household products before they have been proven safe. The agency responsible for approving chemicals for use has only been able to require testing for approximately 200 of the more than 84,000 chemicals in the marketplace. Americans have, on average, more than 200 industrial chemicals in their body, including dozens linked to cancer, developmental problems, and other diseases.

"Families in Minnesota and across the country should be confident that products that they buy and use every day are safe for their families," said Sen. Franken. "These commonsense reforms ensure that every household product is safe before it goes to market."

Sen. Franken is a co-sponsor of the Safe Chemicals Act, which requires that chemical manufacturers demonstrate the safety of industrial chemicals used in everyday household products. Under current law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can only call for safety testing after evidence surfaces demonstrating a chemical is dangerous. Under the Safe Chemicals Act, safety testing would be required for all industrial chemicals, which would need to be proven safe before going on the market to consumers.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 was introduced yesterday by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). The bill is cosponsored by Sen. Franken and 25 of his Senate colleagues.


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