WATCH: Pete Myers addresses US Senate committee on the dangers of plastic
Environmental Health Science founder and chief scientist was one of four witnesses testifying for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works.
Plastic is overwhelming our planet and this pollution is spurring developmental and reproductive problems in people — but there are ways we can reduce this harmful waste.
That was the message Environmental Health Sciences founder and chief scientist Dr. Pete Myers brought to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works last week. Myers testified along with three others — former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator and current Beyond Plastics president Judith Enck, CEO of the Plastics Industry Association Matt Seaholm and co-founder and president of Nexus Circular Eric Hartz — at the hearing, “Examining the Impact of Plastic Use and Identifying Solutions for Reducing Plastic Waste.”
Watch the entire hearing here.
Read Myers' full testimony here:
“Plastic cannot be considered ‘safe’ until it is thoroughly tested,” Myers said in his testimony. “And no plastic has ever been thoroughly tested using the tools of modern, 21st century medical science.”
Myers is a leading voice linking plastic to harmful chemicals that can block, mimic, increase or decrease our body’s hormones. The compounds, often added to plastics as additives, are dubbed endocrine-disrupting chemicals and include bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, fluorinated compounds and others. Properly functioning hormones are vital for our health, and exposure to these chemicals is linked to a host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, impaired brain development and reproductive issues, among others.
Myers has spoken extensively about how the rate of plastic production increases the prevalence of these toxics in our environment and bodies.
Myers has also worked to chart a healthier future, championing a new set of “3 R’s” — rethink, redesign and reform — to replace the old reduce, reuse and recycle messaging. Myers co-founded the Sudoc company, which aims to reduce and replace harmful chemicals in many different types of products. The company won the On the Rise category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.
About EHS: Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news and science organization dedicated to driving good science into public policy and public discussion on our environment and health, including climate change. The organization, founded in 2002, has helped drive science-based changes to policy that led to a moratorium on PBDE flame retardants by several states, a ban on the plastic additive BPA in children’s products by the federal government, and science-based chemical reform in Europe.
Angela Marie Hutchinson