Toronto – The Ontario Legislature should move ahead with a key Private Member’s bill that would protect Ontarians’ health from toxic chemicals, Environmental Defence said today. If passed, Bill 164, sponsored by MPP Peter Tabuns, would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to ensure the public knows what chemicals it’s being exposed to in consumer products and through industrial activities.
 “This bill fills a key gap in citizens’ right to know about the health and environmental effects of pollution,” said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director, Environmental Defence. “To reduce pollution and its effects on public health, we need to know where it’s coming from.”
 
Through the Toxic Nation campaign, Environmental Defence has tested Canadians young and old for toxic chemicals in their bodies, including federal politicians. Results from those tests found Canadians are contaminated no matter where they work, play or go to school, how old they are or where they live.

The tests offer a snapshot of Canadians’ exposure to a broad range of chemicals, some of which persist in the environment and build up in our bodies. Many of the chemicals are found in everyday products, such as furniture, TVs, food packaging, cleaning products and clothing. Environmental Defence is currently testing the leaders of each of the three major political parties in Ontario – Premier Dalton McGuinty, Official Opposition Leader John Tory and NDP Leader Howard Hampton.

Bill 164 has just finished committee hearings. Members from across political parties voted in favour of the bill.

“We know our bodies are polluted with toxic chemicals. We have the right to know who is producing this pollution, and where. Bill 164 will help to answer those questions,” said Freeman. “Passing this bill will make Ontario an environmental leader in reducing the public’s exposure to harmful chemicals. MPPs across the political spectrum should support the bill.”
 
About Environmental Defence: Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide. www.environmentaldefence.ca
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)