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Dr. Plumlee, MD, President Chemical Sensitivities Disorders Association
Greening Missouri Schools
From: Lawrence A. Plumlee
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Children's health is not just a Missouri issue, children¢s health and welfare is a national issue.
It is my understanding that you are chairing a committee in Missouri working on green cleaning best practice recommendations. I am very concerned that 7 of the 13 members assigned to the subcommittee are from industry with a financial interest in the outcome. This is an inappropriate influence in the committee. This provides the real chance of a conflict of interest and an imbalance of impartiality because the companies represented by 54% of the subcommittee members have financial stakes in the outcome of this recommendation. I am also very concerned that a non-neutral person who represents companies with financial interest has been appointed as the chair of this subcommittee. This subcommittee chair is not even a citizen of Missouri nor has he any accountability to Missouri constituents.
With more than 17% of the children in the U.S. under age 18 (that's nearly 12 million children) suffering from one of more learning, behavioral or developmental disabilities and another 6.3 million children (roughly 8%) suffering with Asthma these issues are extremely important to all of our nation¢s families, the healthcare system and our school systems. Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization and school absenteeism in the U.S. In 2001, 4 million children had asthma attacks. Worldwide, deaths from asthma have reached more than 180,000 annually. Cleaning supplies including fragrances and air fresheners affect the indoor air quality and contain ingredients that have been linked to these illnesses and to asthma attacks. These factors make it vital that financial interests are not allowed to dominate the decision making process. This is like leaving the fox to guard the chicken house.
I would like to see the subcommittee include experts on indoor air quality, developmental disabilities & asthma (environmental health) and green cleaning supplies who have no vested financial interest. I would like to see the best practice recommendations include sound science, the precautionary approach and Missouri children's health and future considered as the number one priority over financial interests. I would also like to see the chair re-designated to a neutral party. Additionally, I would like the number of industry people on this subcommittee with a vested financial interest be reduced to two, preferably from Missouri.
I do not want people with a conflict of interest making decisions about any of Missouri's or our nation's school children. Industry may provide input but I do not want a weighted decision in favor of financial interests. I want a balanced group of committee members with expertise regarding children's health & welfare to make the ultimate decisions.
Lawrence A. Plumlee, M.D.,
President, Chemical Sensitivity Disorders Association
5717 Beech Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20817-2563
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