Nurses commend government for law aimed at reducing dangerous toxics



    TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - Ontario nurses are applauding government
legislation that would assist businesses in reducing their reliance on harmful
toxic substances and protect the health of Ontarians where they live and work.
    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) says the bill
provides a good framework but will be judged on the effectiveness of
regulations yet to come. The framework requires businesses to report the toxic
substances they use, create and release in their manufacturing processes.
    "We're alarmed at the scientific data that links cancer, birth defects,
medical conditions such as Parkinson's and premature death to toxics in the
environment. That's why this legislation is so important because it aims to
give people the protection they need and deserve," says Wendy Fucile, RNAO's
President. "We know that the environment is a major determinant of health and
people flourish best when they live in clean, green environments," adds
Fucile.
    RNAO's Executive Director Doris Grinspun also praised the bill. "Every
day, nurses are engaged in health promotion, disease prevention, and illness
care. Our role is to help keep Ontarians healthy and today's announcement goes
a long way towards realizing this goal." But Grinspun expressed concern that
the bill's implementation would be delayed until after the next election.
"People's health is at stake today. People are demanding action from our
government and we can't afford to waste any time on this critical health
issue."
    RNAO will be looking for amendments that will strengthen the legislation
including, a provision that would guarantee the public's right to know about
toxics in their environment, requirements for manufacturers to use safer
alternatives, and aggressive targets to reduce the release of toxic substances
into the environment. The association also wants to see the creation of an
independent body that would assist companies in using greener alternatives,
similar to one in the State of Massachusetts. Ontario's new law is modeled
after that state's legislation.

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional
association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario.
Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in
nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care
system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.





For further information:

For further information: Marion Zych, Director of Communications,
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Phone: (647) 406-5605, Email:
mzych@rnao.org


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