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The bill called "Protecting America's Families from Toxic Chemicals Act" would phase out chemicals that don't break down in the environment.

 

Examples of such chemicals are mercury, lead and flame retardants.

 

"It's especially harmful to families.  They often end up in our food.  These chemicals are in our clothing, a pizza box.  These dangerous chemicals can cause fatal diseases like cancer, birth defects and learning disabilities."

 

Merkley says these chemicals have remained unregulated because congress hasn't updated chemical safety laws since the 1970's.

 

The phase out would apply to all sues, except where the chemical would affect national security or would cause a significant disruption to the economy and there is not an alternative.

 

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