The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Concerned Americans Say to Congress: "I Am Not a Guinea Pig"

New campaign empowers all Americans to demand a new chemicals policy that protects human health


As Americans decry the tragedy of the BP oil spill, including the
lack of evidence of safety for the chemical dispersants being used in
the Gulf of Mexico, a new online campaign launched today provides tools
and information Americans can use to press for fundamental reform of our
nation's toxic chemical law. I Am Not a Guinea Pig (
engages Americans from all walks of life to demand better protection of
human health and the environment as Congress debates how to overhaul
the 34-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

"Chemicals are everywhere around us, and many are simply not safe,"
said Richard Denison, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Environmental
Defense Fund
(EDF). "Children's toys, kitchen products, cosmetics,
fast food containers - countless items that we use on a daily basis are
made with chemicals that science is linking to the rising rates of
childhood cancers, infertility, learning disabilities and more. It's
time Congress acts to stop these unregulated exposures to protect the
health of Americans for generations to come."

For the first time in over 30 years, revisions to TSCA are being
debated by Congress. Widely regarded as one of the weakest of all major
U.S. environmental laws, TSCA was supposed to give the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to identify and regulate dangerous
chemicals. However, the law is so weak that the EPA was unable to use
it even to ban asbestos, a known and deadly human carcinogen that
is barred in more than 50 countries.

In April 2010, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) unveiled the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, an ambitious bill
aimed at revamping TSCA that would go a long way toward bringing our
chemicals policy into the 21st century. To encourage support for a
strong bill, EDF has created the I Am Not a Guinea Pig campaign, working
closely with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
coalition and several of its members, including Autism Society,
Care Without Harm
, Learning Disabilities Association
of America
, Moms
, Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Teens
Turning Green

"We encourage all Americans to speak out against untested and
unregulated chemicals," said Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director
for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "Chemicals should meet a
standard of safety for all people, and especially vulnerable
populations like children and pregnant women. That can only happen when
Congress hears from fed-up Americans tired of being treated like Guinea

For the initial launch, the site provides information and resources
tailored to:

To help spread the word on the campaign, join our Facebook
follow the conversation on Twitter around the #NAGP hashtag and sign
up for our blog
( The
campaign website also includes videos underlining the prevalence of
toxic chemical exposures and what we can do to prevent them.

Environmental Defense Fund's mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, we find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. We work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet. This has drawn us to areas that span the biosphere: climate, oceans, ecosystems and health. Since these topics are intertwined, our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations -- as well as with business, government and communities -- and avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others.