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E-M:/ rep. baird introduces children's environmental health bills

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

Wednesday, April 21, 1999	(517) 373-1786									

Legislation introduced to protect children's environmental health

	LANSING -- Citing the health effects of pollution on children and
their special sensitivity to environmental hazards, State Representative
Laura Baird (D-Okemos) has introduced legislation to protect children's
environmental health. Along with Representative Liz Brater (D-Ann
Arbor), a total of six relevant child health protection bills will be
	"Tomorrow's recognition of Earth Day is an especially appropriate time to
offer legislation designed to protect children from environmental
hazards," Baird said.
	"Children are especially vulnerable to adverse health effects from
pollution," Baird said.  "Children are naturally curious.  They play
outside and are exposed to environmental hazards that are different from
adults.  Our current environmental laws do not consider the special
environmental hazards which put children at risk."
	Representative Baird has introduced three bills to protect children's
environmental health:
	 The first bill would require that no major new air pollution source be
permitted if the location is within 1/4 mile of a residential dwelling,
a school, preschool or child care center.
	 A second bill requires the Department of Environmental Quality to make a
specific finding on the increased risk posed to children when
considering the public health risks of proposed air emissions or water

	 A third bill would require the Michigan Department of Community Health in
consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality to identify
pollutants commonly used or found in areas accessible to children;
create a list of environmental pollutants with known or suspected health
risks to children; and jointly publish a guide for parents on how to
take voluntary action to protect children from exposure to environmental
risk factors like air and water pollution, pesticides and other
	"Today's children are being raised in a very different environment than
those of past generations," Baird said.  "Unfortunately, exposure to
toxins, chemicals and other contaminants are a fact of life.  I believe
that my legislation will play an essential role in protecting our
children, and encouraging children's health to play an important role in
the formulation of environmental policy in Michigan."


Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

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