Moms, Kids in Missoula and Washington, DC Urge Congress to Regulate Toxic Chemicals

Contact Information

Sarah Cobler, Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund, 839.1872; Jamie Silberberger, Women’s Voices for the Earth, 531.1811

  May 22nd, 2012 – Missoula, MT – Kids in strollers, their parents and concerned community members joined hundreds of people from across the country in a “Stroller Brigade” in Missoula, urging Congressional action to regulate toxic chemicals in household products.

The group rallied in support of the Safe Chemicals Act, currently proposed in Congress to overhaul antiquated laws governing toxic chemicals. Three Montanans attended a national Stroller Brigade in Washington, DC at the same time, delivering petition signatures to Senator Baucus and Senator Tester, while a local group donned Superhero capes, carried balloons, and marched to Senator Baucus and Senator Tester’s offices. 

“We’re having fun today with our kids, but we want to draw attention to a completely unfair situation for consumers. It’s just outrageous that there are cancer-causing chemicals in the things I need for my babies, like crib mattresses and baby bottles,” said Hillary Welzenbach, Missoula mom and family therapist.  “I’m grateful our Senators support the Safe Chemicals Act, but Congress needs to get moving and pass this critical reform now,” Welzenbach concluded.

The National Stroller Brigade builds on 30 local events in support of the Safe Chemicals Act, in locations as diverse as Missoula to Little Rock.  Hundreds of moms – many with children in tow – flew or bused into Washington to deliver 125,000 petition signatures to their Senators.  In Missoula, local kids and parents served up hundreds of hand-written thank you cards to the Senators’ office.

The Stroller Brigade participants in Missoula were hopeful Congress would adopt the new law to address their concerns.  “We’ve had major victories working to overhaul the laws that regulate toxics in Montana recently.  Senator Tester signed on as a co-sponsored the Safe Chemicals Act earlier this year, and Senator Baucus issued a statement of support,” said Sarah Cobler, mother of a two-year old and an event organizer.  “We are grateful for their leadership - our kids should not have to wait any longer for reform,” she concluded.  The Safe Chemicals Act is awaiting a vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Participants at today’s event hope to add urgency to the pending vote. 

Organizers say many Montanans support these health efforts. Such groups include Health Care Without Harm, the Montana Public Health Association, Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund and Women’s Voices for the Earth.The Montana Stroller Brigade was sponsored by Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund and Women’s Voices for the Earth.