Reducing children’s exposures to lindane, an organochlorine pesticide found in lice and scabies treatments, was the issue that took LocalMotionGreen to Lansing on Wednesday to meet with state lawmakers.
The chemical has been deemed too hazardous for pets, livestock, lawns, and Christmas trees but is routinely prescribed for parents to use on children with approval from FDA.
LocalMotionGreen’s Education Coordinator, Melissa Sargent, along with intern Alexandra Kaniaris, travelled to Lansing yesterday to speak with legislators about a number of bills, including two that seek to protect Michigan children from this dangerous pesticide.
House Bill 4840, introduced by Representative Timothy Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe), and Senate Bill 867, introduced by Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), call for the restriction of pharmaceutical lindane, which is already banned or restricted for use in 85 countries. The bills still allow for the use of lindane, but stipulate that it must be applied under physician supervision in his or her office. This would prevent unsupervised use in the home that could result in overuse, misuse, or accidentally swallowing lindane, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say, “…can be toxic to the brain and other parts of the nervous system.” (More on HB 4840).
LocalMotionGreen thanked Representative Philip Cavanagh and Senator Glenn Anderson, each of whom have signed on as cosponsors for the respective bills. Senators John Gleason and Coleman Young both promised their support during yesterday’s meetings. LocalMotionGreen also had the opportunity to sit down with and thank Representative Tim Bledsoe for introducing the House version of the lindane bill.
Protecting people and pets from pesticides is important to Representative Bledsoe. That is why he also introduced HB 4842, to open the Michigan Pesticide Notification Registry to everyone (no doctor’s note required). Through the registry residents can receive advanced notification of pesticide applications to next-door neighbors’ properties.
Both of the lindane bills are in committee right now, waiting for the Chair to schedule a vote. To encourage movement of the lindane bills, contact the Committee Chairs:
House Health Policy Committee Chair, Rep. Gail Haines: (888) 737-4043
Senate Health Policy Committee Chair, Senator Jim Marleau: (248) 724-2442
Rep. Bledsoe’s Pesticide Notification Registry revision (HB 4842) is in the Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Rep. Jim Stamas: 800-626-8887.
Also on the agenda for the day were three bills LocalMotionGreen last summarized in December:
- The Michigan Safe Children’s Products Act (SB 893): A consumer right to know bill calling for transparency when toxins are used in the manufacturing of children’s toys.
- Chemicals of Greatest Concern (SB 894): Requires the State of Michigan to create a comprehensive list of chemicals of concern, which can have long-term negative health impacts, including cancer, neurotoxicity, and hormone disruption.
- Prohibit cadmium and mercury in children’s products (SB 764): Classifies cadmium and mercury as heavy metals and bans the substances from use in children’s products.
These bills are all in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Sen. Randy Richardville. To express concern regarding one or more of the bills or to request a vote, call Sen. Richardville’s office at 517-373-3543.
Phone calls generally take only a minute or two. When leaving a message, be sure to leave your name, the bill(s) name or number you support (or don’t support), and the city within which you live. Your one phone call represents the voices of many.
Representative Tim Bledsoe also encourages constituents to contact his office regarding the bills: 1-888-254-5291.
Printable pdf: LocalMotionGreen Goes to Lansing