Alaskan Women Demand Real Reform for Safer Chemicals Policy
News Release: On Tuesday, October 29th Alaskan women will be at a national stroller brigade rally in Washington DC
For immediate release: 10/28/13
For more information: Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty, 787-934-2733
Alaskans go to Washington DC Capitol for a “National Stroller Brigade”
St. Lawrence Island delegation hand delivers resolutions for chemical policy reform to Senators Begich and Murkowski
Washington DC, October 29th, 2013 – Alaskan women have joined hundreds of mothers, nurses, and cancer survivors in the nation’s capital demanding action for real reform on toxic chemicals to revise the 37 year old Toxic Substance Control Act. The group will have a press rally at 10 am ET on October 29th at the national capitol with a stroller brigade asking congress to strengthen the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill to overhaul antiquated laws governing toxic chemicals. The stroller brigade may be viewed live at 6 am, Alaska time here: www.saferchemicals.org/strollerbrigade.
The Alaska Federation of Natives passed resolution 13-23 which states in part: “We trust that our Alaska Senators will read this resolution and join us and other groups in developing and advancing the TSCA reform legislation that provides meaningful protections from, and safer solutions to, harmful chemicals. “ Two delegates from St. Lawrence Island will hand deliver chemical policy reform resolutions from the villages of Gambell and Savoonga to Senators Begich and Murkowski tomorrow with the Stroller Brigade.
The Alaska Nurses Association will also hand deliver their resolution which was passed 10/12/13 – Resolution 2013-07 – Working to Protect Alaskan’s From Harmful Chemicals and to Keep Alaska’s Food Supply Abundant and Safe. Which states in part: “the Alaska Nurses Association advocates for meaningful chemical policy reform both nationally and on the state level that reduces the use of toxic chemicals and requires that less harmful chemical be substituted whenever possible and ensures adequate information on the health effect of chemicals is available to the public before these chemicals are introduced on the market such as is the process outlined in SB 1009”.
WHO – The Alaskan Stroller Brigade delegation will join hundreds of mothers from around the country and their babies, cancer survivors, and actress Jennifer Beals
- Charlotte Jane Kava, Mother and Community Health Researcher in St. Lawrence Island, Alaska Community Action on Toxics;
- Tiffany Immingan, Youth from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska;
- Susan Walsh, Nurse and Ex-President, Alaska Nurses Association;
- Patti Saunders, Advocate for Autism and Other Learning Disabilities Community;
- Patrice Lee, Mother and Child Advocate;
- Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty, Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
WHAT – Press event and ‘Stroller Brigade’ to Senate offices
WHEN – October 29, 2013. Press conference at 10:00 AM, Stroller Brigade to follow (approx 10:45)
WHERE – U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC, locations TBA, contact CJ Frogozo, [email protected], 310-570-2622 for more information.
WHY – Alaskan women in the stroller brigade delegation will meet with their Senators to urge their leadership in strengthening the Chemical Safety Improvement Act which as written does not do enough. This industry-biased bill currently before Congress fails to protect the health of future generations and the Alaskan delegation will ask for modifications to the bill in order to:
- protect pregnant women and children and vulnerable populations;
- test chemicals for their safety before they are put on the market;
- take immediate action on the most toxic chemicals; and
- protect communities most vulnerable to toxic chemical pollution.
Last year in May 2012, moms turned out in large numbers in response to an investigative series by the Chicago Tribune, which exposed the chemical industry’s deceptive lobbying tactics – even in Alaska – to protect toxic chemicals. The moms divided up by state and the Alaska leaders delivered petition signatures to Senator Begich and Senator Lisa Murkowski, asking them to work towards toxic chemical reform to protect public health.
When Senator Murkowski became a co-sponsor of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act in 2013, she credited the grassroots efforts of Alaska Community Action on Toxics: “It’s troubling to me and to many Alaskans that we haven’t updated our chemical safety policy since the eight-track tape era. I have repeatedly been asked by the Alaska Community Action on Toxics and their Alaska Environmental Health and Justice Program to reform and streamline the review process of chemicals that are affecting the health of rural Alaskans. Though this bill is not perfect, it clearly is a positive, bipartisan step forward and offers a clear path to speed up the review and enforcement of rules to stop chemicals from affecting our fish and wildlife – and the health of rural Alaskans that depend on a subsistence way of life.”
“Americans have woken up to the fact that known toxic chemicals get into our homes and our bodies – often through the products we buy- and that the government doesn’t do a thing about it.” Andy Igrejas, Campaign Director, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Yupik youth Tiffany Immingan, from Savoonga, Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska stated that she joined the stroller brigade to honor her family and neighbors who are fighting cancer and other health impacts: “I just want to be toxic-free! We are being poisoned. Indigenous communities like mine have been harmed more than any other people on the planet. Chemicals produced around the world travel in the air and water. They end up in the Arctic and into our traditional foods, which we have relied on for generations for our well-being. We need to fix the chemical laws to protect communities like mine.”
Patrice Lee, a mother from Fairbanks whose son has painfully felt the effects of toxic exposures, said she is involved because “people, including my son Alex, are affected quite badly due to the disregard of health effects caused by toxics at every level. Our government can control toxics if we choose to make intelligent decisions that include the economic and health impacts to people! Safer chemicals policy would lead to a better quality of life for my family and for many.”
“We need reform that truly protects American families from the chemicals that contribute to the increasing rates of childhood cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other health problems. The current proposal before Congress does not meet that standard.” – Andy Igrejas, Campaign Director, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
*****VISUALS: Dozens of strollers and hundreds of moms at Capitol. A ‘toxics show and tell’ by moms and kids of consumer products with hidden toxics and the linked health impacts to demand action.
CONTACT: Interviews can be arranged in advance. To book an interview or for questions at the national level, please contact CJ Frogozo, [email protected], 310-570-2622, or Tony Iallonardo, [email protected], at 202-503-8581.
Alaska contacts: Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty, [email protected], 787-934-2733
For media assistance, contact Heather McCausland, 907-355-0446 (cell) or 907-222-7714, [email protected].
Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) is a statewide non-profit public interest environmental health research and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting environmental health and achieving environmental justice. The mission of Alaska Community Action on Toxics is: to assure justice by advocating for environmental and community health. We believe that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water and toxic-free food. We work to stop the production, proliferation, and release of toxic chemicals that may harm human health or the environment. For more information, please call 907-222-7714 or visit www.akaction.org.