PNS Daily Newscast - February 20, 2019 

Sen. Bernie Sanders enters the 2020 race for president. Also, on the Wednesday rundown: Tuition or meals? We take you to a state where college students fight food insecurity. Plus, another state's attempt to legalize hemp.

Daily Newscasts

Groups Say Law Protecting Great Lakes Health a "Dead Fish"

July 6, 2010

LANSING, Mich. - They say the rules meant to protect the health of the Great Lakes and its food chain are no match for today's toxic pollution. So advocates for children's health are pushing for revision of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan and the Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health, among others, say the antiquated federal law has not been changed in decades and does little to protect consumers.

Spokesperson Rebecca Meuninck, Environmental Health Campaign director with the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, says the lakes' water is full of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic chemicals (PBTs).

"Mercury, PCBs, lead, dioxins keep showing up in the Great Lakes environment. They have detrimental impacts both on wildlife and then, as they move up in the food chain, on our own human health."

Meuninck says the new version of the law, called the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act, is an important step because it requires chemical producers to provide specific manufacturing data, but she says it doesn't stop existing chemicals like mercury and lead from being used and ultimately flushed into the lakes.

"What it doesn't do is require an immediate phase-out of those persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals. Those chemicals are not only the ones that have been around for quite some time, but also newer chemicals that are showing up in Great Lakes fish."

The proposed revision to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 would require testing of all industrial compounds. Chemical manufacturers say the change would be a burden because they would bear the cost of meeting the new requirements. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency only requires safety testing after evidence shows a chemical is potentially dangerous.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI