Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

David Lungren (202) 224-5642

Opening Statement of Senator James M. Inhofe

Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and  Environmental Health hearing entitled, "Toxic Chemicals and Children’s Environmental Health."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:30 a.m.

I would like to thank Senator Lautenberg for scheduling this important hearing to discuss the potential effects of toxic chemicals on the health of children.  As a father and grandfather, protecting the health of children, born and unborn, is a personal priority for me. 

Today we will hear perspectives on scientific approaches to evaluating exposure to chemicals, specifically exposure to children.  It is vital to protect our children, and when Congress and EPA develop regulations to that end, they must use the best available science and ensure that policies are appropriately risk-based and not made on mere perception or assumption of a particular hazard.  

There is no shortage of strong feelings when it comes to chemicals and how they are managed and regulated.  Children can have greater exposure than adults on a body-weight analysis, but not always.  In some cases, children can be more susceptible, in other cases less susceptible, and in many cases equally susceptible, to environmental exposures when compared to adults.    For this reason, assessing the environmental impact on children deserves additional, specialized interest.  I have high expectations that the perspectives we hear today will focus on sound science, risk-based decision making, and prioritization of review. 


I appreciate Sen. Lautenberg’s interest in these important issues, and I commit today to work with him to develop legislative solutions to the extent they are needed and according to what the best available science is telling us.  


I look forward to hearing from the witnesses on their productive and constructive ideas for ensuring the safety of children’s health.  With these concerns in mind, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for having this hearing.