Remembering Senator Lautenberg

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg was a five-term New Jersey Democrat, who fought tirelessly for legislation to protect America’s children from unsafe and untested chemicals. Born in Paterson, New Jersey to a family of Polish and Russian immigrants, Senator Lautenberg’s life truly epitomizes the American dream. After serving in the Army Signal Corps in Europe, Senator Lautenberg attended Columbia University with the help of the G.I. Bill.

After a successful business career, he was elected to the Senate in 1982, where Senator Lautenberg became a long-time leader in environmental protection, transportation, and public health. His most notable accomplishments include passing the law that banned smoking on airplanes, helping raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, and authoring the ‘Toxic Right to Know” law to inform the public of what pollutants are being released into their neighborhood.

In 2005, Senator Lautenberg began fighting to reform our country’s inadequate chemical safety laws – singlehandedly educating the U.S. Congress about this issue. In 2013, he reintroduced the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the Act gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to protect Americans from harmful chemicals through testing, screening, and risk management of the chemicals that cannot be proven safe.

Senator Lautenberg passed away on June 3rd, 2013. A true hero in public health, he will be remembered for his groundbreaking vision and commitment to protecting our children from toxic chemicals.