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Connecticut Building on its Toxic Hazards Record

April 6, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Environment Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly has approved a bill that would move beyond the state's success in addressing concerns about individual chemicals, such as bisphenol-A, which was banned last year from baby bottles and other plastic containers. The bill would bring together scientists, health advocates and the business community to create a new research facility, explains Sarah Uhl, environmental health coordinator for Clean Water Action.

"The Chemical Innovation Institute would act as a clearinghouse for information on toxic hazards and safer alternatives."

Changes to the bill were made in the Environment Committee to help address concerns of the business community, creating a bigger role for large and small manufacturers in the Institute's operation.

Uhl adds that the institute would help Connecticut companies stay competitive with those in other states and countries that are tightening up their own regulations on production and use of chemicals.

"We see this Chemical Innovations Institute, and other pending reforms before the legislature, as next steps that move us beyond that one-chemical-at-a-time approach and toward a more health-protective policy that better protects our economy as well."

The bill includes mechanisms to seek federal and private funding for the Institute.

The text of the bill is at www.cga.ct.gov

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT