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Department of Environmental Protection Lists 'Chemicals of High Concern'

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 6:23am

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has released the state's official list of 49 chemicals used in everyday products that could represent a danger to children.

In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DEP published the list of "Chemicals of High Concern" late last week, before a July 1 deadline.

The list includes a dozen chemicals proven to cause cancer in humans, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic and cadmium. Others include four chemicals used in flame retardants, three used in sunscreens and so-called hormone disrupters like parabens and phthalates.

Sierra Fletcher from the Environmental Health Strategy Center says the list represents a "baby step" and that the state should now mandate replacement of those chemicals with safer alternatives.

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