Senator Jeff Merkley Addresses Dangers Of Daily Chemical Exposure

Jun 30, 2015

Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley was in Eugene on Tuesday to discuss a study which measured human exposure to toxic chemicals.

Senator Jeff Merkley at Townsend's Teahouse in Eugene.
Credit Corinne Boyer

Three black wristbands sit on a podium in front of Senator Jeff Merkley as he tells a small crowd there’s no federal agency regulating chemicals in things like clothes, rugs and sofas. The wristbands are personal monitoring devices developed at OSU. For one week, three Oregonians wore the wrist bands which measured how frequently they came into contact with pesticides, flame retardants and other harmful substances. A total of 57 chemicals were found after the bands were analyzed.

Merkley says average Americans aren’t aware of all the harmful chemicals they’re exposed to on a daily basis.

Merkley: “And that’s why it’s so exciting to have this research with the silicone wrist bands out of Oregon State University and that’s now turned into a company that enables folks to wear wrist bands for a week and discover what they are exposed to. Because that brings the message home that when you found out that you’ve been exposed to hormone disrupters and cancer causing toxins just in a single week.”

Senator Jeff Merkley at today's news conference.
Credit Corinne Boyer

Merkley wants the federal government to study and regulate these chemicals.   

On Wednesday, the Oregon Senate is expected to vote on the Toxic Free Kids Act will. It would require manufacturers to disclose “chemicals of high concern to children’s health.”