SPOTLIGHT: Kirsten Gillibrand '88
Perhaps you've heard of the recent outrage concerning the abysmally carcinogenic ingredients often used in baby products and bubble bath mixtures. If you haven't, well, news flash: You probably know a kid whose mother's been washing him with 1,4 dioxane (or- even better!- formaldehyde).
Now, there have been many food and product scandals and scares in the past few years, almost so many that it's just old news. But this one seems especially important considering that it concerns the welfare of very young children.
The good news is that someone's decided to do something about it. And who is that? A Dartmouth alumna, of course- Kirsten Gillibrand '88, the recently appointed New York senator. There was a bit of conflict about her appointment, too, but that's a different story. Read up on that at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/24/nyregion/24senator.html
Long story short, Senator Gillibrand has had enough of dead-frog-preservative being used to create those nice beautiful bubbles; she's introduced a piece of legislation (the Safe Baby Products Act) that will allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate, test, and publish findings concerning the products in question.
It all sounds good so far- except, of course, we still don't really know what that was stuff doing in these products in the first place. I guess we'll all need to keep an eye on the labels of the products we use- and even do some research on the ingredients that don't legally have to be written on those labels.
For now we can be proud that Senator Gillibrand '88 learned enough at Dartmouth to be able to help out the kids with poison in their CuteFroggie shampoo.