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Participants

Hannah Pingree: "We can't wait for the federal government. Maine is a leader and change starts here. I say to my fellow legislators, 'If I have toxic chemicals in my system, you do too'. It's our job to protect the people of Maine. We need action now."

Dana Dow: "As a business owner, I want to make informed decisions about the chemicals we use in today’s society. With sufficient information, I can decide what is safe for my workers and my customers."

Amy Graham: "Having low levels is no consolation. Low levels of some chemicals can be major disruptors to our systems. And many of these chemicals don't break down in our bodies, so today's low levels can be tomorrow's danger zone."

Paulette Dingley: "I try to pay attention to the products I buy and use, so it's frustrating to learn I've been exposed to harmful chemicals anyway. I've survived cancer but will I now be harmed by chemicals while going about my daily life?"

Russell Libby: "Maine has a golden opportunity to take a leadership role in clean and green innovation. That includes establishing policies that encourage the development and use of safer alternatives to toxic chemicals in our everyday products. We need a systems approach, not problem by problem."

Bettie Kettell: "The bottom line is that these chemicals have invaded every facet of our daily lives. Even hospitals, which are in the business of making people healthier, are ironically adding to our exposure because so many of the products used there contain hidden, but avoidable, toxic chemicals."

Regina Creeley: "We're all paying the price as the number of special needs children rises. The cost burden on both our school and medical systems is tremendous. The children are unhealthy and unhappy. And parents feel overwhelmed. It's a national tragedy that needs immediate attention."

Eric Stirling: "We shouldn't be afraid to issue stronger warnings about mercury in our native fish. It's the responsible thing to do. I'm not worried about business - people won't stop fishing; they'll just practice catch and release."

Denyse Wilson: "We can't be blissfully ignorant anymore. It's shocking that readily available products contain harmful chemicals - and all because the chemical industry isn't held accountable and required to adequately test before they sell."

Elise Rioux: "I'm outraged by the chemical industry and their irresponsible ways. As an athlete, I think it's ridiculous that I'm exercising for my health and the water I drink to replenish my body contains toxic chemicals from the container it's in."

Lauralee Raymond: "I feel frustrated. There's only so much I can do and it's obviously not enough. And I'm worried about the future - especially for my niece and nephew, because what we think is safe may not be."

Vi Raymond: "It doesn’t matter where you live or work. These chemicals are everywhere as we go about our daily lives. We can’t avoid exposure by simply making different choices.”


Medical Professionals

Dr. Lani Graham: "Going back to Hippocrates, one of the principal preceps of medicine is first do no harm ('primum non nocere'). This study confronts us with terrible evidence that we are violating the principle every day, with no clue as to how future generations, our environment or even our own lives will be affected."

Vincent Markowski, Ph.D.: “As scientists, we do not fully understand the combined effects of these chemical exposures on human health, especially on fetuses and children who are more sensitive to toxic effects. As a toxicologist this information is critical in positively impacting future research and building momentum towards a safer chemicals policy.”

Dr. Sydney Sewall: “This is the dark side of “better living through chemistry” – one of the optimistic sayings I grew up with in the 50’s. We need to change our paradigm for dealing with the chemical world we’ve inherited. Maine needs a comprehensive chemicals policy as a first step.”


Alliance Partners

Mike Belliveau, Executive Director, Environmental Health Strategy Center: “Hazardous chemicals don’t belong in our bodies. This study shows that our safety system for industrial chemicals is badly broken. We need government action to prevent pollution in people. We need a new chemical policy that ensures the safety of everyday products, especially for the most vulnerable – developing babies and children. The Maine Legislature should take action to fix the broken safety system for industrial chemicals. A safer chemicals policy will require safer alternatives to the worst chemicals and full health testing before chemicals can be added to everyday products.”
an overhaul in our system of public health protections from industrial chemicals."

Sandra Cort, Board Member & Past President, The Learning Disabilities Association of Maine: “The Learning Disabilities Association of Maine believes the findings of this 'Body of Evidence' report are disturbing and must be a call to action to protect the health of our children and future generations. 127,000 adults and 13,400 children in Maine are identified with learning disabilities and thousands more with attention disabilities. According to the National Academy of Sciences exposure to toxic chemicals is part of the root cause in over a quarter of the cases of learning disabilities. There is now no doubt, we must fix our broken chemical policy, we must assure that chemicals are safe before we release them into commerce, into our homes, and into the bodies of our children.”

Melissa Boyd, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter: “Physicians for Social Responsibly Maine Chapter is very pleased to have been a part of the Body Burden study. As a group of physicians, health care professionals and concerned citizens we work to prevent the gravest threats to human health and survival. Dr. Rick Donahue, our Environmental Public Health Consultant, served as the Principal Investigator on this study and was instrumental in its success. From this study we now have further evidence that harmful toxins are affecting Maine people. To create change and protect the public health of Mainers we need a safer chemicals policy.”

Brownie Carson, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine: “The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) is pleased to have co-sponsored the “Body of Evidence,” a study of pollution in Maine people. This study clearly shows how toxic chemicals -- in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products that fill our homes and workplaces -- are accumulating in our bodies. NRCM believes that to protect our families, wildlife and environment, the state needs to outlaw the use of toxic chemicals in common consumer products. By phasing out harmful chemicals in favor of safer ones, and requiring that all industrial chemicals are proven safe, we can protect Maine people and wildlife. NRCM has worked with allies in the legislature and environmental and public health communities for decades to urge the state to eliminate certain toxic chemicals from certain products and Maine’s waste stream, with many successes. At our urging, the state has banned the sale of mercury-containing thermometers, thermostats and many other devices. At our urging, Maine now requires manufacturers to pay to safely collect and recycle computer monitors and television sets -- which contain five pounds of lead -- at the end of their useful life. We were also instrumental in the passage of a law that requires dentists to cut mercury discharges and one that requires carmakers to pay to take back components that contain mercury.
Despite these and other successes, it is clear that a “one-chemical-at-a-time” approach is not enough. Our system that regulates chemicals is broken and it must be fixed – that is the task at hand. Maine must adopt a new “safe chemicals” policy – to protect the health of bot people and our environment.”

Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group: “Industry claims that these doses are too low to be harmful, but studies from the drug industry tell us otherwise. Their products control everything from fertility to allergies at blood levels equivalent to one drop of medicine in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The human body can be acutely sensitive to low doses of some chemicals - we can't underestimate the potential for a lifetime of exposures to low doses of hundreds if not thousands of industrial chemicals to harm human health. We sorely need an overhaul in our system of public health protections from industrial chemicals.”

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