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Posted on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Poll shows most Michigan voters support stricter toxic chemical rules

By Amy Biolchini

A majority of Michigan voters across party lines polled in a recent survey said they support stricter regulations on toxic chemicals used in everyday products, according to a new poll released Thursday.

About 74 percent of voters polled expressed support for provisions of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 which would require manufacturers to show that chemicals used to make their products are safe before selling them.

In May, hundreds of people marched on the U.S. Capitol in a “Stroller Brigade” to show their support of the Safe Chemicals Act, including a contingent from Ann Arbor.

Thumbnail image for 071912_safechemicalsactpoll_jpg

The results of the survey that asked 615 Michigan voters if they support stricter regulations on toxic chemicals in consumer products.

Courtesy of the Ecology Center

The measure would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act and would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to limit uses of a chemicals known to be a threat to human health or the environment.

The survey, conduced by the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health, polled 615 voters across the state. The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor is a member of the network.

By political affiliation, here’s the breakdown of those that responded affirmatively that more regulation is needed for toxic chemicals in consumer products:

“We are calling upon Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin to listen to the will of their constituents and support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011,” said Rebecca Meuninck, campaign director of the Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health, in a statement.

The Safe Chemicals Act is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The committee will next hold a hearing on the matter July 24.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2552, amybiolchini@annarbor.com or on Twitter.

Comments

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

What is shocking is that major importers of toys STILL are not testing them for lead and cadmium, etc. Those metals are still found regularly in the major department stores. They won't test because it costs them a tenth of a cent per item, and that cuts profits.

Rebecca Meuninck

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Several readers have requested more info on the polling results and polling questions. You can view the press release, memo from the pollsters, and slides with the results and language of the questions here: http://bit.ly/MichiganChemicalsPoll

clownfish

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

How many of the negative posters want THEIR kids ingesting lead paint that is on toys? Cadmium, arsenic, mercury? Healthy toys.org did some testing on children's toys and found interesting results, maybe results that would be cheered on by some of our critics? "December 3, 2008 (ENS) - One in every three of the more than 1,500 children's toys tested in time for the holiday shopping season have been found to contain "medium" or "high" levels of chemicals of concern such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. About one-third of the 17 toys tested that were manufactured in the United States showed detectable levels of lead. Two toys had levels above 600 ppm. Among the highest lead levels detected was in a Halloween Pumpkin Pin made in the USA, which showed 190,943 ppm of lead. "Lead is not the only toxic found in the toys. Researchers also found toys containing cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and bromine. Forty-five products tested showed bromine at concentrations of 1,000 ppm or higher, indicating the use of brominated flame retardants - chemicals that may pose hazards to children's health. Arsenic was detected at levels greater than 100 ppm in 22 products, while 289 products contained detectable levels of arsenic. Cadmium, a heavy metal, was found above 100 ppm in 30 products, while 38 of products contained detectable levels of cadmium. Mercury was found above 100 ppm in 14 products, while 62 of products contained detectable levels of mercury. HealthyToys.org identified products made with polyvinyl chloride, PVC, plastic by measuring their chlorine content. "

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

We don't need no regulation! Let profit rule the marketplace! Bring back lead! And Thalidamide!

Chris

Fri, Jul 20, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

I can see the poll question now. What do you think of toxic chemicals? A. I want more of them B. I want less of them

tdw

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Look who took the poll.Pollsters and get any result they want.I'd like to see the questions asked.Didn't the city take a poll showing a majority of people supported public " art "

Mike

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

We have to make sure everything we as consumers use is safe, whatever that means. Enacting new regulations, even if it makes products cost more is important. After all "About 74 percent of voters polled expressed support for provisions of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 ". More regulations, save us all Senator Stabenow and Senator Levin. We really need to re-elect these two guardians of the common people.............

John S. Armbruster

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

As written this is not a good idea. There is no reference to the amount of the chemical being consumed and its relevance to public health. If you had to eat a ton of something for a hazard to be assesed as a hazard it is not a relevant concern. This appears to be either poor reporting for not clarifying that point.

xmo

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Sarah Palin got more people at the Wayne County Fair Grounds than this? "hundreds of people marched on the U.S. Capitol in a "Stroller Brigade" to show their support of the Safe Chemicals Act, including a contingent from Ann Arbor. " We wanted this before we got ObamaCare why should they change now? ""We are calling upon Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin to listen to the will of their constituents "

Ron Granger

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

Certain corporations will have their PR firms and lobbyists working hard to avoid any kind of requirements for product safety testing. They want us to believe they take consumer safety seriously, but it is just marketing hype. Some people don't care if users of their product get cancer. Anything to make a quick buck.

cinnabar7071

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

"About 74 percent of voters polled expressed support for provisions of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 which would require manufacturers to show that chemicals used to make their products are safe before selling them." Define safe. Drano is completely safe as a drain cleaner, but not so safe as a drink. My garage is full of chemical that are very usefull and safe when used correctly, but could become bombs, or deadly if mixed or used incorrectly. Maybe the gov't can just pay a person to following each of us around everyday and keep us safe.

nickcarraweigh

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

You cannot point to so much as a single syllable in the Constitution regarding Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and those who would end the decades-long chemistry lab that is the Saginaw Valley are nothing more than job-killers. Already dioxin levels have dropped precipitously in the Titibawasee River, which is a canary in the coal mine of better living through chemistry.

M

Thu, Jul 19, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

This is a bad idea. More legislation that won't solve a problem. We need toxic chemicals, and the accidents that occur are already from people who can't read (children/pets) and folks already not following instructions (more instructions won't help). And when I say "we need toxic chemicals" I'm not talking about plutonium. We need bleach, muriatic acid, TSP, and many others. This is a waste of time and money.