Are you a guinea pig?

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The answer to that question — or at least what should be the answer — is the name of a new campaign launched today by Environmental Defense Fund, in cooperation with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition and a number of its member organizations.

I Am Not a Guinea Pig is a new online campaign that provides tools and information Americans from all walks of life can use to press for fundamental reform of our nation’s toxic chemical law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

I Am Not a Guinea Pig is aimed at helping to ensure that the voices of millions of Americans who are concerned about and affected by exposures to untested and unsafe chemicals are heard as Congress begins the first serious effort to overhaul the 34-year-old TSCA.

The campaign will use a variety of social media, including a website, a Facebook page with daily updates, and a #NAGP Twitter hashtag.

Our thanks go out to our partners in Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families with whom we’ve worked in our initial effort: Autism Society, Health Care Without Harm, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Moms Rising, Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Teens Turning Green.

The campaign initially focuses on three groups at particular risk from toxic chemical exposures:  teens, children and health professionals.  We’ll be expanding the campaign over time to include others at risk, and we’ll continue until we’ve achieved the campaign’s fundamental aim:  a strong new chemicals policy in the United States that protects all Americans from toxic chemicals.

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  1. Posted June 15, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Glad to see this happening. If you go to my website I posted info on SC. I downloaded 19 pages of chemicals released into the air here in SC alone. Sometimes I feel like a lonely fighter here trying to rid us of toxic chemicals.

  2. Charli
    Posted June 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I am particularly disappointed with this campaign. I think the larger problem we are facing is precisely that we have been using guinea pigs for decades and they haven’t served as reliable models for human safety. We have “tested” and deemed “safe” tens of thousands of chemicals on animals only to find that the some results are not accurate. It’s time to use human-relevant non-animal testing practices as outlined by the National Academy of Sciences report, “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy in 2007.”

    The potential for TSCA reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill needs to mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods and tests.

    I agree that we should use the latest science to assess chemicals. Instead of poisoning animals and attempting to apply that data to humans — which hasn’t worked out so far — we need to make sure a reformed TSCA relies on modern human cell and computer-based methods that provide more accurate data on how a chemical acts on cells and what the impact on human health may be.

  3. Kira
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, I shared this on Facebook!