Poll Finds 90% of Michigan Voters Support Comprehensive Policy to Phase Out Persistent Toxic Chemicals

The Ecology Center

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2003

New polling data released today shows that nearly two-thirds of the voters in states in different regions of the U.S. are highly concerned about the unique dangers posed by persistent toxic chemicals in our air, water, land and food. As a result of this concern, an overwhelming majority of those polled support a comprehensive policy to phase out such chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives.

Michigan residents showed the greatest level of awareness and concern, with more than ninety percent of those polled supporting such a phase out policy. This data is the result of surveys of 1,200 voters in Maine, Michigan and Washington.

The polls represent one of the first comprehensive studies of voter opinion on persistent toxic chemicals. Among the key findings of the survey were the following:

"This survey demonstrates that Michigan residents are keenly aware of the health threats associated with persistent toxic chemicals in the environment, and strongly support efforts to reduce their production and release," said Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology Center. "Michigan should follow the lead of other states and adopt a comprehensive policy to address the wide range of persistent chemicals used and released in our state."

In Washington State, there is a state-wide policy to phase out 29 persistent chemicals and push for safer alternatives. Similar efforts are being considered in other states, including Massachusetts where legislation has been proposed that would create a comprehensive program to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives, beginning with ten priority chemicals.

"A number of the safer alternatives are already available and could easily replace persistent toxic chemicals, says Monica Rohde, Coordinator of the Alliance for Safe Alternatives. "Using these safer alternatives would have minimal costs and great benefits for public health."

This survey information comes not long after the release of the Centers for Disease Control's second National Report on Human Exposure to Toxic Chemicals that shows the levels of 116 dangerous chemicals in the bodies of the American people. The government, however, does not require health studies for new industrial chemicals unless they will be added to food. Health tests are not required for chemicals used in cosmetics, toys, clothing, carpets or construction materials.

Today organizations in 19 states participated in this national media event as part of the Launch of the Alliance for Safe Alternatives. The Alliance, which is a project of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, is a national partnership that works to eliminate persistent toxic chemicals and promote safe, practical and cost effective alternatives.

View the report

For More Information Contact:
Mary Beth Doyle, Ecology Center, 734-663-2400 ext. 108
Monica Rohde, CHEJ, 703-237-2249, ext.19


Source: The Ecology Center www.ecocenter.org

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