www.huffingtonpost.com - May 22nd, 2012
Christine Nienstedt is a fairly typical mom. Her time is stretched thin between work and her kids' soccer games -- and navigating the array of toxic chemicals that fill her family's world.
"I do my best, but it's just not easy to know which mattress to buy, or how far from flame retardants you can get, or what food wrapped in plastic packaging is okay," she said.
On Tuesday, Nienstedt and her 11-year-old daughter, Tyler Cheyenne, joined about 200 other moms and children as part of the National Stroller Brigade in Washington, D.C. Their mission: convince Congress to retire the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act and replace it with the proposed Safe Chemicals Act, which currently awaits a Senate vote.
The swap would essentially shift the burden of proof for chemical safety from the current assumption that a chemical is safe until proven toxic -- generally after it has already spent years on the market -- to a requirement for industry to prove that a chemical is safe prior to placing it on store shelves.
"To me, the idea of testing chemicals before they are allowed to be used is common sense. We should have had that in place decades ago," Nienstedt said.