Toronto – At a rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto today, babies, kids, parents and daycare centres will call on the McGuinty government to protect children’s health from toxic chemicals found in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups and other products that surround kids everyday.
The rally features a live performance by the hit band Sho, Mo and the Monkey Bunch. Speakers include FITMOM founder Andrea Page, Greenmom founder Monique Fabregas, Environmental Defence Executive Director Dr. Rick Smith, and Dr. Pete Myers, CEO of Virginia-based Environmental Health Sciences and a leading expert on potential health effects of chemicals.
“As a mom, I’m concerned about the chemicals that surround my child everyday of her life. I want better laws that will get rid of the most harmful chemicals in products and in the environment,” says Monique Fabregas, founder of Greenmom.
One chemical, bisphenol A, is of particular concern to parents and daycare centres. Bisphenol A is found in hard plastic baby bottles and sippy cups, as well as the lining of some food cans. More than 130 peer-reviewed studies have associated bisphenol A with a variety of health problems (obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer and a wide range of developmental problems), often at surprisingly low levels of exposure.
“Ontario has the opportunity to lead the world by taking preventative action against bisphenol A,” says Dr. Pete Myers, CEO of Virginia-based Environmental Health Sciences, and author of Our Stolen Future. “And this stand is amply justified by the scientific evidence already in hand.”
“Our governments need to protect our children from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals. Kids should not be drinking bisphenol A with their milk, or eating it with their canned veggies,” says Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.
Two recent panels in the U.S. have pointed to potential health effects of exposure to bisphenol A. The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences expert panel of 38 leading scientists found that most people are exposed to bisphenol A at levels higher than those that cause health effects in animal studies. An expert panel of the U.S. National Toxicology Program concluded recently that bisphenol A exposure to fetuses and to children could have behavioural and nervous system impacts.
Bisphenol A is not the only chemical polluting the bodies of Canadian children. A study done by Environmental Defence found 39 chemicals contaminating the children it tested as part of its national Toxic Nation campaign. In many cases, the children tested had higher levels of some chemicals than their parents. Environmental Defence also tested three Ontario political leaders – Premier Dalton McGuinty, PC Leader John Tory and NDP Leader Howard Hampton – for toxic chemicals in their bodies. A total of 46 chemicals were detected in the leaders, including bisphenol A.
“The McGuinty government has the chance to lead the way in Canada by passing a law that dramatically cuts toxic chemical pollution,” says Smith.
The family fun rally to get rid of toxic chemicals begins at 10:00 a.m. today at Queen’s Park (front lawn, in front of the Ontario Legislature building).
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): 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.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)