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You are here: Home » GreenFaith in the Media » Press Releases » Religious groups release principles on toxic chemical reform


Religious groups release principles on toxic chemical reform

GreenFaith, National Council of Churches, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism Call for Strong, Protective Policies

Apr 27, 2011

On the heels of the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 in the U.S. Senate, 34 religious groups have released interfaith and Christian principles to guide chemical policy reform. To read the principles, click here.

The Toxic Substance Act, introduced recently by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), is aimed at overhauling the nation's 35-year-old chemical policy.

Among the groups joining in the principles are the National Council of Churches, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, and GreenFaith.

Both the interfaith statement, signed by 900 persons, and the Christian statement, signed by 1,800 persons, express concern that toxic chemicals jeopardize the health of God’s Creation and vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.

“Our current national chemical policy has not sufficiently protected human bodies, God's Creation, or “the least of these,” said Cassandra Carmichael, National Council of Churches Director of Washington Office. “In fact, only 200 of the 84,000 chemicals in commerce have been fully tested for safety.”

“While everyone is exposed to some risk from toxic chemicals, communities of color and poor communities have far more toxic dump sites and toxic consumer products,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “The world’s religions affirm our duty to protect the most vulnerable.  We need a chemical policy that offers this kind of protection.”

"It is our duty to protect all of God's people, especially the poorest among us who are most affected by the release of these toxic chemicals," said Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation. See

The Religious Action Center is the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism. For 50 years, it has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C, educating and mobilizing the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns.

GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate, inspire, equip and empower diverse religious communities for environmental leadership.  Through innovative programs and values-based resources, GreenFaith helps people of diverse faiths put their beliefs into action for the earth.  For more information visit


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