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New Poll Finds 75% of American Small Businesses Support Stricter Chemical Regulation

Survey of 511 businesses reveals widespread report for chemical reform

A new national poll of 511 small business owners shows strong support for stricter regulation of toxic chemicals. 91% of small businesses polled agree that the chemical industry should be responsible for safe chemicals in the marketplace, and 75% support stricter regulations of chemicals used in everyday products.

Nov 13, 2012

Portland, OR—A national poll of 511 small business owners released today shows strong support for stricter regulation of toxic chemicals. 91% of small businesses polled agree that the chemical industry should be responsible for safe chemicals in the marketplace, and 75% support stricter regulations of chemicals used in everyday products.

Other key findings in the poll include:

  • 87% support government regulations of chemicals used in growing food
  • 73% support government regulations to ensure the products companies buy and sell are non-toxic
  • 76% support tax incentives for companies that innovate to provide safer chemicals
  • 92% support regulations to protect air and water from pollution by toxic chemicals
  • 78% support government regulations to reduce air pollutants linked to environmental and health problems

Small businesses represent a critical source of jobs and economic activity in Oregon and the U.S., with small businesses employing about half of all working Oregonians. The American Sustainable Business Council, a non-partisan organization representing more than 150,000 businesses nationwide, commissioned the poll.

“As a homegrown Oregon small business, I firmly believe we need to change the way we manage toxic chemicals,” said Virgina Young, Co-Founder of Yolo Colorhouse in Portland. “Regulations that increase transparency in the market will help level the playing field for businesses like mine that are investing in safer alternatives.”

Oregon has key building blocks in place to be a leader in developing safer alternatives through green chemistry, with renowned researchers and educators as well as leading businesses in the state. An executive order signed by Governor Kitzhaber in April of 2012 aims to help the state take specific actions that will support green chemistry innovation in Oregon. 

Key Oregon industries, including green building and clean technology, are showing how safer alternatives are good for our health and our economy. “We need a rationale approach to managing chemicals, particularly in our buildings, recognizing that the materials we produce are made of chemicals that must be manufactured, processed, transported and handled repeatedly,” said Tom Schneider, Founding Partner and R&D Director of Building Envelope Innovations in Clackamas OR.

“Consumers and local governments are demanding the responsible use of safe chemicals in products,” said Kate O’Brien, Founder and CEO of Alima Pure in Portland. “In the wake of inaction on the part of the federal government, we need to work at the state and local levels to reform these outdated laws that allow everyday products to contain harmful chemicals.”

“Local governments including the City of Portland and Multnomah County are taking important steps to protect public health and the environment,” said Colin Price, Director of Research & Market Innovation with Oregon Environmental Council. “Through their leading-edge healthy purchasing initiative, the City and County are leveraging their purchasing power to strengthen demand for safer products, rewarding transparency and green chemistry innovation.”

Poll details are available at the American Sustainable Business Council website, asbcouncil.org/toxic-chemicals-poll.

About Oregon Environmental Council

Oregon Environmental Council protects the health of every Oregonian and the place we call home by working for clean air and water, a healthy climate, an unpolluted landscape and sustainable food and farms. Founded in 1968, OEC champions innovative, collaborative solutions to Oregon's environmental challenges. Find out more at www.oeconline.org.

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