My heart is heavy today as I learned of the passing of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). Senator Lautenberg was the author of the Safe Chemicals Act – much-needed, proposed legislation with the goal of putting common sense limits on toxic chemicals. He was a true leader and champion for safer chemical laws to protect the public from toxic chemicals in our environment and in products we use every day.
I had the honor of participating in the National Stroller Brigade in Washington, DC last spring with Senator Lautenberg. A group of passionate moms and dads, nurses, health advocates and cancer survivors, all gathered together on Capitol Hill to rally for stronger chemical laws. Senator Lautenberg spoke and cheered us on as we marched to the Senate office buildings to lobby our legislators about the importance of passing the Safe Chemicals Act.
Just within the last couple weeks Senator Lautenberg, along with 15 other Senators from both parties, introduced a new bill (as an alternative to the Safe Chemicals Act), the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, with hopes of garnering enough bipartisan support to get it passed in Congress as soon as possible. I just wish Senator Lautenberg had lived to see it pass.
As many of you know, I have done a lot of work over the years for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition of advocacy organizations, businesses and concerned individuals, with the goal of passing better Federal chemical laws. Although our top advocate in Congress, Senator Lautenberg is gone, I have no doubt that his good work will be carried on by his many supporters both in Congress and around the country.