"States: Federal Toxics Laws Too Weak"

"AUGUSTA, Maine --  Environmental officials in Maine and a dozen other states issued a statement Wednesday saying federal laws to protect the public from toxic chemicals are too weak and states instead are leading the way.

The joint statement asks for changes in national laws so they will protect vulnerable populations by identifying and regulating the most troubling chemicals in consumer items and elsewhere. It also says manufacturers should provide regulators with enough information to show that chemicals used in their products are safe to humans and won't harm the environment.

'Current federal chemical regulations fail to adequately protect the nation's citizens and environment from toxic chemicals and unsafe products,' said David Littell, commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 'The effects of exposure to toxic chemicals on human health, the environment and the economy are enormous and often avoidable.'"

Glenn Adams reports for the Associated Press December 2, 2009.

Source: AP, 12/04/2009