Why Congressman Gets an 'F' On Environmental Report Card

The front-page article ''Rep. Bill Orton is Bringing Up Baby - in Congress,'' July 7, showed just how important it is for members of Congress to remember children as they debate legislation.

While the congressman may say his ''job here in Congress is to try to deal with the issues and problems in our nation ...,'' he seems to be forgetting about his son and other kids when voting on issues related to environmental threats to children's health.

Congressman Orton recently received an ''F'' on the Children's Environmental Health Report Card issued by Physicians for Social Responsibility. We graded every member of the House on how they voted on 12 key pieces of legislation that would affect environmental hazards for children in five areas, including: pesticides and other contaminants in food; lead, asbestos, and second-hand smoke in homes and schools; bacteria and other toxic chemicals in drinking water; and federal health and environmental safeguards that provide general deterrents against pollution.

Members of Congress must ensure the health and safety of our children when they vote on so-called regulatory ''reform'' issues. The future of our nation's most valuable asset could be at risk.

Robert K. Musil Washington

Executive director, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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