|00:00:00||NOT STAND HERE WHILE A MENACE THREATENS CHILDREN ACROSS OUR COUNTRY.|
|00:00:11||WITH TOO MANY UNTESTED TOXIC CHEMICALS PRESENT IN EVERYDAY CONSUMER PRODUCTS, PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CHILDREN'S USE, LIKE BABY BOTTLES AND NURSERY FURNITURE, CONTAIN -- MANY OF THEM CONTAIN TOXIC CHEMICALS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TESTED FOR HUMAN SAFETY.|
|00:00:34||THESE CHEMICALS SHOULD BE TESTED IN INDUSTRY LABORATORIES, NOT IN OUR CHILDREN'S BODIES.|
|00:00:47||AND IT'S TIME TO UPDATE LAW TO PROTECT THEM.|
|00:00:53||THIS CHART SHOWS SOME OF THE MOMS, MANY WHO TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES WITH SIGNS THAT ARE DEMANDING SAFER CHEMICALS NOW.|
|00:01:08||MANY OF THE MOMS HAD LITTLE CHILDREN WITH THEM, AND WE HEARD A STORY FROM ONE MOTHER WHO LOST A CHILD, AND THE ONLY REASON THAT THEY COULD FIND IS THAT THERE WERE TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THIS CHILD LIVED.|
|00:01:30||AND SO THEY'RE PLEADING WITH US.|
|00:01:32||THEY'RE SAYING, SENATORS, UNDERSTAND WHAT'S TAKING PLACE HERE.|
|00:01:37||THREATS TO OUR CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.|
|00:01:41||-- SHOULD NOT BE COUL TOLERATED IN AMERICA.|
|00:01:47||THESE MOMS ARE RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED THAT THEIR FAMILIES AREN'T BEING PROTECTED FROM DANGEROUS CHEMICALS.|
|00:01:55||IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY, THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE IN THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE, TO JOIN WITH AMERICAN PARENTS, TO FIX OUR BROKEN TOXIC CHEMICAL LAWS.|
|00:02:11||BUT UNTIL THESE LAWS ARE FIXED, TOXIC CHEMICALS -- TOXIC -- THE WORD "TOXIC" IS A REPLACEMENT WORD FOR POISONOUS CHEMICALS, TOXIC WILL CONTINUE TO GNAW AWAY AT OUR CHILDREN'S BODIES, THEIR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.|
|00:02:34||STUDIES BY C.|
|00:02:36||D.C. SCIENTISTS FOUND 212 INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS, INCLUDING SIX CARCINOGENS COURSING THROUGH AMERICAN CHILDREN'S BODIES.|
|00:02:51||TOXIC CHEMICALS POSE SIGNIFICANT HEALTH RISKS.|
|00:02:56||CHEMICAL EXPOSURE ACCOUNTS -- AND THIS CHART TELLS A VERY BAD, VERY SAD STORY.|
|00:03:05||5% OF PEDIATRIC CANCERS -- 5% OF CHILDREN CANCERS, 10% OF DIABETES, 10% OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE, 30% OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA ARE SIGNIFICANT HEALTH THREATS TO CHILDREN.|
|00:03:25||AND INSTEAD OF PROTECTING US FROM THESE HARMFUL CHEMICALS, OUR CURRENT LAW FALLS SHORT.|
|00:03:39||A LAW CALLED TOSCA, IT WAS DESIGNED TO ELIMINATE THESE THREATS TO CHILDREN'S HEALTH.|
|00:03:44||IT PASSED IN THE 1970'S.|
|00:03:46||IT'S SO SEVERELY FLAWED THAT NONPARTISAN GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE TESTIFIED, AND IT'S -- QUOTE -- "A HIGH-RISK AREA OF THE LAW.|
|00:04:00||" IMAGINE THE LAW CALLED -- SO SEVERELY FLAWED THAT IT'S A HIGH RISK OF THE LAW.|
|00:04:12||NEARLY 35 YEARS TOSCA HAS ALLOWED E.|
|00:04:17||P.A. TO TEST ONLY 200 CHEMICALS OF MORE THAN 80,000 CHEMICALS.|
|00:04:24||THOUSANDS OF CHEMICALS, NEW CHEMICALS ARE INTRODUCED EVERY YEAR IN INDUSTRIAL AND RESEARCH FACILITIES, BUT ONLY 200 OVER THAT TIME.|
|00:04:35||WHAT DOES THAT SAY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN THAT WE HAVE TRYING TO PROTECT 80,000 CHEMICALS AND ONLY 200 OF THEM WERE TESTED, AND FOUR WERE BANNED?|
|00:04:49||SADLY, HOWEVER, IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IS FIGHTING TO KEEP THE STATUS QUO ALIVE AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR LIVES, OUR CHILDREN'S LIVES, OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH.|
|00:05:04||JUST RECENTLY "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE" EXPOSED HOW THE INDUSTRY USES DIRTY TRICKS AND JUNK SCIENCE TO DRIVE THEIR PUBLIC MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN.|
|00:05:15||THEY WANT TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON.|
|00:05:23||IN THEIR SERIES, DETAILED HOW THE INDUSTRY REPEATEDLY BULLIED AND LIED TO STATE LEGISLATURES TO PREVENT COMMONSENSE REFORMS.|
|00:05:34||THEY BANKROLLED PHONY EXPERTS -- A DOCTOR IN ONE INSTANCE, PROM PROM -- PROMINENTLY STOOD UP AND PROTECTED CHEMICAL MATERIAL, FIRE RETARDANT.|
|00:05:51||THEY'RE BROUGHT IN THERE TO CONVINCE STORIES THAT SPOUT THE COMPANY LINE ALL IN THE SERVICE OF PROTECTING NOT THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN, BUT PROTECTING THEIR PROFITS.|
|00:05:59||IT'S A TERRIBLE EXCHANGE, ALL AT THE SKPEPBGS -- EXPENSE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH.|
|00:06:09||IT'S CLEAR THAT CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS PURPOSEFULLY HID THE DANGERS OF TOXIC FLAME RETARDANTS.|
|00:06:19||WE HAVE A CHART HERE THAT SHOWS THE AVERAGE COUCH, FOR INSTANCE -- AND HERE'S WHAT WE SEE ON THIS CHART -- HAS OVER TWO POUNDS OF FLAME-RETARDANT CHEMICALS IN ITS FOAM CUSHIONS, CHEMICALS THAT HAVE BEEN LINKED TO DEVELOPMENTAL PROBLEMS AND OTHER HEALTH RISKS SO, THAT WHEN ONE OF THE -- THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE NOW HAS CAUTIONED US ABOUT THIS AS WELL, THAT THERE ARE DISCHARGES WHEN THESE ARE COMPRESSED THAT RELEASE THE TOXIC CHEMICALS INTO THE AIR.|
|00:07:05||SCIENTISTS HAVE WARNED US ABOUT THESE CHEMICALS SINCE THE 1970'S, AND YET THEY SHOW UP IN HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, INCLUDING BABY CRIB MATTRESSES, HIGH CHAIR CUSHIONS.|
|00:07:23||"THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE" REPORT SAID THAT A TYPICAL AMERICAN BABY IS BORN WITH THE HIGHEST RECORDED CONCENTRATIONS OF FLAME RETARDANTS AMONG INFANTS IN THE WORLD.|
|00:07:37||BUT WE'RE NOT HERE JUST TO ATTACK CHEMICALS.|
|00:07:43||WE'RE SAYING GET THOSE OUT THAT ARE NECESSARY AND GOOD FOR OUR SUSTAINABILITY.|
|00:07:50||BUT THERE ARE HIDDEN IN THERE PRODUCTS THAT ARE DANGEROUS, THAT ARE CONTAMINANTS THAT CAN BRING TERRIBLE THINGS TO CHILDREN, TERRIBLE HEALTH THREATS.|
|00:08:02||AND THOSE MATERIALS ARE USED IN HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS TO KILL GERMS, USED IN MEDICAL EQUIPMENT THAT SAVES LIVES.|
|00:08:11||HUNDREDS OF USEFUL, EVERYDAY PRODUCTS CONTAIN CHEMICALS.|
|00:08:15||BUT IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE ALL SAFE.|
|00:08:19||AND TODAY WE JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT IS IN THE AIR, THE ATMOSPHERE, POISONOUS.|
|00:08:31||HERE, AN EXAMPLE, EVERYBODY RECOGNIZES WHAT THIS IS: A BABY BOTTLE.|
|00:08:37||WE'VE ALL BOUGHT THEM AND SEEN THEM USED FOR OUR KIDS.|
|00:08:40||BUT CHEMICALS IN SOME BABY BOTTLES HAVE BEEN LINKED TO SERIOUS HEALTH THREATS.|
|00:08:45||IMAGINE AS A CHILD TAKES NOURISHMENT, THEY'RE TAKING IN SUBSTANCES THAT ARE DANGEROUS TO THEIR HEALTH, MAKE THEM SICK OR WORSE.|
|00:08:56||WHEN WE USE THESE PRODUCTS, THE CHEMICAL IN THEM CAN END UP IN OUR BODIES.|
|00:09:00||IN ESSENCE, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS BECOME A LIVING, BREATHING REPOSITORY FOR CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES, AND NO ONE SHOULD ACCEPT THIS STANDOFF, AND MOST DO NOT.|
|00:09:12||THOSE WHO ARE AWARE OF WHAT'S TAKING PLACE DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANY EXCUSES.|
|00:09:17||THEY SAY GET RID OF THESE THINGS.|
|00:09:19||LET US KNOW WHAT'S THERE SO WE CAN PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.|
|00:09:23||SHIELD THEM FROM THE, THESE THREATS TO THEIR HEALTH AND THEIR WELL-BEING.|
|00:09:32||EVERYONE FROM SOME CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS TO BUSINESSES THAT USE CHEMICALS IN THEIR PRODUCTS TO ENVIRONMENTAL, LABOR AND HEALTH GROUPS HAS CALLED FOR REFORMING OUR CHEMICAL LAWS, AND WE WILL NOT WAIT.|
|00:09:45||I ASK MY COLLEAGUES NOT TO WAIT HERE.|
|00:09:48||JOIN US IN THIS QUEST TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY GROW UP AS HEALTHY AS WE CAN ENABLE THEM TO DO.|
|00:10:00||WE WILL NOT WAIT ANY LONGER, AND WE CANNOT LET LOBBYISTS RUN OUT -- LOBBYISTS, THOSE ARE PEOPLE WHO FOR A FEE WILL REPRESENT ALMOST ANYBODY.|
|00:10:13||BUT IN THIS CASE WE'RE LOOKING AT THOSE WHO BRING IN GOOD INFORMATION, GOOD PRODUCT, BUT THOSE WHO ARE DEFENDING COMPANIES THAT ARE PRODUCING PRODUCTS THAT ARE DANGEROUS FOR ALL THE CHILDREN WHO ARE EXPOSED.|
|00:10:34||MY BILL, THE SAFE CHEMICALS ACT, LAYS OUT A VISION FOR STRONG, EFFECTIVE AND PRAGMATIC REGULATION OF CHEMICALS.|
|00:10:44||THE BILL SIMPLY REQUIRES THE CHEMICAL MAKERS TO PROVE THAT THEIR PRODUCTS, THEIR CHEMICAL IS SAFE BEFORE THEY END UP IN CHILDREN'S BODIES BY BEING PUT INTO A PRODUCT THAT CHILDREN USE.|
|00:11:02||MOST OF THE THOUSAND CHEMICALS THAT WE USE EVERY DAY ARE SAFE, BUT THIS BILL WILL SEPARATE THE SAFE CHEMICALS FROM THE ONES THAT ARE NOT, THE ONES THAT THREATEN OUR CHILDREN AND OUR FAMILIES.|
|00:11:15||IT WILL ENSURE THAT CHEMICALS ARE TESTED AND THAT E.|
|00:11:18||P.A. CAN TAKE UNSAFE USES OF CHEMICALS OFF THE MARKET.|
|00:11:24||MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS BILL IS COMMON SENSE.|
|00:11:28||AND I'M SURE FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT BE LISTENING OR THOSE WHO MIGHT READ THE STORY IN "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE," THE RESEARCH THAT THEY DID WILL FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS WE CAN'T TAKE THE STEPS IN HERE, IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO MAKE THE CHILDREN SAFE.|
|00:11:49||WE DO IT IN ALL KINDS OF WAYS TO PROTECT OUR KIDS.|
|00:11:54||WE WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO GROW AND DEVELOP AS CHILDREN SHOULD, HEALTHY, HEALTHY KIDS.|
|00:12:03||SOME CHEMICAL INDUSTRY LOBBYISTS SAY THIS: THE COST OF TESTING ALL THESE CHEMICALS WILL BE TOO HIGH.|
|00:12:13||TALK TO A PARENT.|
|00:12:14||TALK TO A PARENT WHOSE CHILDREN CARRIED LOTS OF TOXIC -- TOXINS IN THEIR BODY ALREADY.|
|00:12:23||TALK TO THE MOTHERS WHO CARRIED THESE TOXINS IN THEIR BODIES AND CAN TRANSMIT THEM VERY EASILY TO THEIR CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY IN PREGNANCY.|
|00:12:38||SO TOO HIGH?|
|00:12:40||TOO HIGH HAS TO BE JUDGED NOT BY THE CHEMICAL COMPANY MAKING A PROFIT AND WANTING TO MAKE MORE.|
|00:12:49||WE CANNOT VIOLATE OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PARENTS AND THE MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND THE RELATIVES AND THE FAMILIES WHERE LITTLE KIDS LIVE AND ENJOY LIFE.|
|00:13:06||WHAT ABOUT THAT COST TO DAMAGE THE HEALTH THERE?|
|00:13:14||HOW HIGH IS THAT COST?|
|00:13:15||I WOULD LIKE ONE OF THESE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURER EXECUTIVES STAND UP TO PARENTS WHO ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE HEALTH AND THE WELL-BEING OF THEIR CHILDREN AND SAY THAT THEY'RE NOT MAKING ENOUGH MONEY.|
|00:13:25||THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PUMP MORE OF THESE THREATENING MATERIALS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE.|
|00:13:30||WHAT ABOUT THE COST TO THE PARENTS WHO HAVE TO PAY FOR THE CARE?|
|00:13:36||THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS.|
|00:13:41||-- IS THIS: IF WE DON'T ACT TO PROTECT AMERICANS FROM THOUSANDS OF TOXIC DEMOCRAT -- TOXIC CHEMICALS IN EVERYDAY PRODUCTS, WHO'S GOING TO DO IT?|
|00:13:56||WE'VE INVITED INPUT FROM ALL SIDES OF THIS ISSUE, INCLUDING THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY, AND I EXTEND AN OPEN INVITATION TO MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES.|
|00:14:10||THINK ABOUT IT.|
|00:14:11||LOOK AT IT THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR CHILDREN, OF YOUR FAMILIES HE.|
|00:14:18||THINK ABOUT IT.|
|00:14:19||OR WOULD YOU RATHER GO TO THE BANK WITH A LARGER DEPOSIT BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING THAT IS A THREAT TO CHILDREN OF ANY AGE AND ANY STAGE?|
|00:14:35||SO I ASK COLLEAGUES FROM THE REPUBLICAN SIDE TO WORK WITH US, WORK WITH KNEE FIX -- WORK WITH ME TO FIX THIS BROKEN LAW.|
|00:14:50||THE ONE THING WE WILL NOT DO -- AND I KNOW I SPEAK FOR MANY OTHERS WHO ARE COSPONSORING THIS LEGISLATION -- WE WILL NOT ACCEPT INACTION.|
|00:15:00||IT'S TIME TO ACT.|
|00:15:01||WE WANT TO MARK UP LEGISLATION TO REFORM TSCA AND MOVE THIS LEGISLATION TO THE SENATE FLOOR WHERE DECISIONS CAN BE MADE AND OPINIONS OF INDIVIDUALS HERE WHO MAY SAY NO, NO, WE'D RATHER GO AHEAD AND ENLARGE OUR BANK ACCOUNTS, OUR CASH RESERVES.|
|00:15:20||LET THEM SAY IT IN FRONT OF THE PUBLIC.|
|00:15:24||THAT'S WHEN WE'LL BE CONDUCTING THE KIND OF A TEST THAT WE SHOULD BE DOING HERE.|
|00:15:30||SO WE WANT TO MOVE THE LEGISLATION, MOVE THE LEGISLATION TO THE SENATE FLOOR, HAVE A VOTE ON IT AND HOPEFULLY GOOD JUDGMENT AND GOOD SENSE WILL PREVAIL, AND THIS WILL GET THROUGH AND GET TO THE PRESIDENT'S DESK SO HE CAN SIGN IT AND START THE PROCESS OF PROTECTING OUR KIDS AT NO COST.|
|00:15:53||IT'S TIME TO COME TOGETHER TO FINALLY FIX THIS LAW, PROTECT OUR FAMILY FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS.|
|00:16:01||AND WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.|
|00:16:07||MRS. GILLIBRAND: MR.|
|00:16:08||PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.|
|00:16:10||MRS. GILLIBRAND: I WANT TO THANK SENATOR LAUTENBERG FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND|
Mr. LAUTENBERG. Madam President, I come to the floor today because we dare not stand here while a menace threatens children across our country with too many untested chemicals present in everyday consumer products, products intended for children's use, such as baby bottles and nursery furniture. Many of them contain chemicals that have never been tested for human safety. These chemicals should be tested in industry laboratories, not in our children's bodies. It is time to update the law to protect them.
This picture shows some of the moms, many who traveled long distances yesterday to come to the Capitol with signs demanding ``safer chemicals now.'' Many of the moms had little children with them.
They are pleading with us. They are saying: Senators, understand what is taking place. Threats to our children should not be tolerated in America.
These moms are right to be concerned that their families are not being protected from dangerous chemicals. It is our responsibility, the responsibility of those in the Senate and the House, to fix our broken chemical laws. But until these laws are fixed, toxic chemicals--the word ``toxic'' is a replacement word for poisonous--toxic chemicals will continue to gnaw away at our children's bodies, their health, and their well-being.
Studies by CDC scientists found 212 industrial chemicals, including 6 carcinogens, coursing through America's children's bodies.
``Toxic Chemicals Pose Significant Health Risks.'' This chart tells a very bad, a very sad story: Five percent of pediatric [Page: S3464] cancers, 10 percent of diabetes, 10 percent of Parkinson's disease, and 30 percent of childhood asthma are significant health threats to children. And instead of protecting us from harmful chemicals, our current law falls short.
A law called TSCA was designed to eliminate these threats to children's health. It passed in the 1970s. It is so severely flawed that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office testified that it is a ``high-risk area of the law.'' Imagine that: TSCA, because of the fact that it is so severely flawed, is a high-risk area of the law.
In nearly 35 years, TSCA has allowed EPA to require testing of only 200 of more than 80,000 chemicals. Thousands of new chemicals are introduced every year in industrial and research facilities, but only 200 over that time were tested. What does that say? When you think about the number of children we are trying to protect, 80,000 chemicals, and EPA could require testing for only 200 of them, and only 5 were banned. It is hard to believe the chemical industry fought for years to keep the status quo alive at the expense of our lives, our children's lives, our children's health.
Recently the Chicago Tribune exposed how the industry used dirty tricks and junk science to drive their public misinformation campaign. They wanted to mislead the public about what is going on. Their series detailed how the industry repeatedly bullied and lied to State legislators to prevent commonsense reform. They bankrolled phony experts. A doctor in one instance prominently stood up there and defended a chemical material, a fire retardant. They are brought in there to invent stories that spout the company line, protecting not the health of children but protecting their profits. It is a terrible exchange--all at the expense of safety and health.
It is clear that chemical manufacturers purposefully hid the dangers of toxic flame retardants. We have a chart here that shows the average couch, for instance, has over 2 pounds of flame-retardant chemicals in its foam cushions, chemicals that have been linked to developmental problems and other health risks. The Presiding Officer has cautioned us about this, as well, that there are discharges when these are compressed that release the toxic chemicals into the air. Scientists have warned us about these chemicals since the 1970s, and yet they show up in household furniture, including baby crib mattresses and high-chair cushions.
The Chicago Tribune report said that: A typical American baby is born with the highest recorded concentrations of flame retardants among infants in the world.
But we are not here to attack chemicals. We are saying sort out those that are necessary and good for our sustainability, but there are hidden in there products that are dangerous, that are contaminants, that can bring terrible things to children, terrible health threats. Hundreds of useful everyday products contain chemicals, but it is our responsibility to make sure they are all safe, and today we don't know what is in the air, the atmosphere, and is poisonous.
Here is an example. Everybody recognizes what this is, a baby bottle. We have all bought them or seen them used for our kids. But chemicals in some baby bottles have been linked to serious health threats. Imagine, as a child takes nourishment, they are taking in a substance that can be dangerous to their health and make them sick--or worse.
When we use these products, the chemicals in them can end up in our bodies. In essence, the American public has become a living, breathing repository for chemical substances. No one should accept this standoff, and most do not. Those who are aware of what is taking place don't want to hear any excuses. They say: Get rid of these things. Let us know what is in there so we can protect our children and shield them from these threats to their health and their well-being.
Everyone--from some chemical manufacturers to businesses that use chemicals in their products, to environmental, labor, and health groups--has called for reforming our chemical laws, and we will not wait. I ask my colleagues not to wait here. Join us in this quest to save our children's health to make sure they grow up as healthy as we can enable them to do. We will not wait any longer, and we cannot let lobbyists run out the clock.
Lobbyists. Those are people, who for a fee, will represent almost anybody. But in this case, we are looking at not those who bring in good information or a good product, but those who are defending companies that are producing products that are dangerous for all the children who are exposed.
My bill, the Safe Chemicals Act, lays out a vision for strong, effective, and pragmatic regulation of chemicals. The bill simply requires the chemical makers to prove that their products, their chemicals are safe before they end up in children's bodies by being put into a product that children use.
Most of the thousands of chemicals we use every day are safe, but this bill will separate the safe chemicals from the ones that are not--the ones that threaten our children and our families. It will ensure that chemicals are tested and that EPA can take unsafe uses of chemicals off the market.
This bill is common sense. I am sure those who might be listening and those who might read the story from the Chicago Tribune and the research they did will find it very difficult to understand why it is we can't take the steps in here in the Congress to make their children safe. We do it in all kinds of ways to protect our kids. We want them to be able to grow and develop as children should--healthy, healthy kids.
Some chemical industry lobbyists say the cost of testing all these chemicals would be too high. Talk to a parent whose children carry lots of toxins in their bodies already. Talk to the mothers who carry these toxins in their bodies and can transmit them very easily to their children, particularly in pregnancy. So, too high? Too high has to be judged not by the chemical company making a profit and wanting to make more.
We cannot violate our responsibility to the mothers and fathers and the relatives and the families, where little kids live and enjoy life. What about that cost to the damage of their health? What about the cost to them? How high is that cost? I would like one of these chemical manufacturer executives to stand up to parents who are worried about the health and the well-being of their children and say they are not making enough money and they are going to have to pump more of these threatening materials into the atmosphere without submitting them for testing. What about the cost to the parents who have to pay for their care? The bottom line is this: If we don't act to protect Americans from thousands of toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products, who is going to do it? It is our responsibility.
Throughout this process we have invited input from all sides of this issue, including the chemical industry. I have extended an open invitation to my Republican colleagues: Think about it. Look at it through the eyes of your children and of your families. Think about it. Or would you rather go to the bank with a larger deposit because you are doing something that is a threat to children of any age and any stage? So I asked colleagues from the Republican side to work with us. Work with me to fix this broken law.
The one thing we will not do--and I know I speak for many others who are cosponsoring this legislation--we will not accept inaction. It is time to act. We want to mark up legislation to reform TSCA and move this legislation to the Senate floor, where decisions can be made. Opinions of individuals who may say, No, we would rather go ahead and enlarge our bank accounts, our cash reserves--let them say it in front of the public. That is when we will be conducting the kind of a test we should be doing here.
We want to move the legislation to the Senate floor and have a vote on it. Hopefully good judgment and good sense will prevail and this will get through and get to the President's desk so he can sign it and start the process of protecting our kids. It is time to come together to finally fix this law and protect our families from toxic chemicals.
With that, I yield the floor.