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Healthy Kids coalition educates candidates, asks support to safeguard children from toxic hazards

A coalition dedicated to protecting children from toxic exposure is asking Michigan candidates to take a stand this election season.

The Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids (HMHK) coalition is asking candidates for the Michigan House and Senate to say ‘yes’ to protecting children’s health through the HMHK platform.

The HMHK coalition is comprised of some of the state’s leading health and environmental organizations, including the Michigan Environmental Council. By signing the platform, candidates officially commit to support policies that help to keep children safe from toxic chemicals.

During the 2008 election cycle, 54 incoming state representatives—nearly half—were HMHK platform signers. Every day more Republican and Democratic candidates are enthusiastically signing the HMHK platform. As of July 14, 2010, 124 House candidates and 40 Senate candidates had signed the HMHK platform—a quarter of all candidates running in the primary this August. Of these supporters, 34 percent are Republicans and 66 percent are Democrats.

The HMHK platform includes three key points:

  • Provide parents with a right to know about the most hazardous chemicals in children’s products.
  • Phase-out the most dangerous chemicals that have safer, affordable alternatives.
  • Foster Michigan-based job growth by providing incentives for safer product development and use.

Hundreds of scientific studies link the toxic chemicals that are still found in children’s products to cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, infertility, and asthma. Constituents expect their elected officials to take action. Lead, cadmium, bisphenol-A, formaldehyde, and other toxics continue to make their way into toys and consumer products and into children through inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. They also end up in our environment and food web.

With the increasing candidate support of the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids campaign, many of our leaders are committed to the challenge. The Michigan House of Representatives has passed a package of bills that requires disclosure of chemicals of concern in kid’s products, but was stalled in the Senate at press time.

To learn more, visit www.healthymichigan.net.

Members of the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids coalition include: Ecology Center, Clean Water Fund, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan Healthy Children Project, Voices for Earth Justice, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, Michigan Nurses Association, and Local Motion Green.
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