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pesticides

Florida tourism promoters are always looking to get stories in the newspaper to lure northern tourists—and their vacation cash—down here. But a recent story in the New York Times wasn’t what they had in mind.

“Florida Algae Bloom Leads to Record Manatee Deaths,” read the national headline on April 6, in the middle of prime winter tourist season.

Americans need a law that will keep them safe from toxic chemicals—before they are allowed to enter the market.

And that’s why we should be thanking Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Today, Sen. Lautenberg and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), joined by 27 other senators, introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2013,” a landmark bill that seeks to protect families in America from exposure to harmful chemicals.

The agriculture industry relies heavily on the use of pesticides, which are highly toxic chemicals that farmworkers and surrounding communities are frequently exposed to through simply doing their jobs or living near agricultural sites. Pesticides enter the body through inhalation and penetration of the skin. The latest statistics indicate that in 2007, 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides were used in the United States, and 80 percent were destined for agriculture.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on the government, schools, parents and medical professionals to take concerted action to protect children from pesticides.

The 60,000-member physicians organization is worried about the growing body of scientific evidence that links these toxic chemicals not only to obvious poisoning but also to subtle health problems kids can be particularly vulnerable to.

We’re all familiar with those ubiquitous television commercials that implore us to “ask our doctor” about a new pill to cure depression or anxiety or to treat those unfortunate souls who find themselves depressively anxious. Slipped into nearly every such commercial is the reassuring voice of a narrator who inconspicuously mentions that this same magical pill has a few side effects.

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