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Letter: Ensuring the safety of our children's products

Chemical companies and baby product manufacturers are taking chances with our children's health.

Right here in our growing northland community, when we as consumers go to the store to buy products like bottles and sippy-cups for our children, we naturally expect that those products have passed the highest standards of safety testing.

In fact, chemicals that are known to be health hazards such as bispenol A (linked to learning disabilities, reproductive disorders, diabetes and many other adverse health effects) are still used in the manufacture of children's products. The current policies tend to protect the economic interests of chemical companies and toy manufacturers before the health of our children.

Why are chances being taken with our children's health? If we know a chemical to be toxic, we should not use it to make baby bottles. If we think a chemical is unsafe, let's not take a chance. There are safe alternatives out there and our children are worth investing in. They deserve the highest standards of protection.

The statewide Minnesota Healthy Legacy Coalition along with the Indigenous Environmental Network here in Bemidji, are supporting two major bills that will lead us to a more healthy future:

-- BPA Free Children's Products bill to phase out bispenol A.

-- Toxic-Free Kids Act to grant authority to the Pollution Control Agency to review the safety of chemicals in children's products and require manufactures to phase them out when safer alternatives are available.

It is imperative that we take steps to prevent future exposure of our children to toxic chemicals. It's bad enough that our children are exposed almost daily to toxics and pollution beyond our control; let's not make it worse by putting unnecessary toxic chemicals in the products we buy for them.

Simone Senogles

Development Coordinator

Indigenous Environmental Network