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Readers' Letters: Bill will keep kids safe from carcinogens

As a practicing oncologist, I know that there is often no indication of what caused a patient’s cancer and nothing that could have been done to prevent it. But when there are clear factors contributing to the prevalence of cancer in society, I believe it is our right and our responsibility to take action.

In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel reported that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated.” The presence of known and likely carcinogens in children’s products is of particular concern to me.

It is especially alarming that children are exposed to carcinogens and other dangerous toxic chemicals in the everyday products they play with, chew on, bathe with and sleep on. Children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins than adults, and recent research shows that exposure to toxic chemicals early in life can increase the risk of cancer many decades later. Amazingly, there is little oversight that would keep our kids safe.

That’s why I support a bill being debated by the Oregon Legislature to better regulate toxic chemicals, specifically chemicals that children are exposed to. The Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act (House Bill 3162) would require manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and to phase out the use of toxic chemicals in certain products.

As the father of two daughters, I want the best for them and for all children. I want to know that my kids are safe, and I don’t want to have to research every single product I buy for my kids just to be sure it doesn’t contain unsafe toxins. There is a better way. I know our state legislators care, too, and urge them to protect kids’ health by passing HB 3162.

Dr. Tom Beer

Southeast Portland

The Clean Fuels bill is a no-brainer

The Oregon Legislature has the opportunity to pass a bill that is truly “win-win.” This is Senate Bill 488, the Clean Fuels bill. In Oregon we don’t have much oil, but we do have electricity for electric cars and farm products for biofuels.

The clean fuels bill will save money for consumers (as an electric car driver, I can attest to that), create Oregon jobs, help our overall economy and reduce greenhouse gases. The program has been tested and found successful in other places. This is a program that just makes sense.

Lisa Adatto

Lake Oswego

Clean fuels are better, create jobs

Gas prices are on the rise and they have been for a very long time. It is a constant problem, and as a daily commuter, I deal with it every day. Today it’s $4 a gallon and tomorrow, who knows it could be $10.

How high do the prices have to be before we change to a renewable and more reasonably priced energy source? By adopting the Clean Fuels Program (Senate Bill 488) we can switch to biodiesel, electricity, ethanol and propane, which are all more viable alternatives that can replace our use of oil.

These options have less impact on the planet and the wallet. Not only are they cheaper and better for the environment, they also create jobs in Oregon.

The Clean Fuels Program should be adopted by Oregon’s legislators to maintain a happy planet and happier Oregonian consumer.

Meghan Payne

Oregon City