Too many chemicals, not enough sunshine
By Consumers Union on Friday, July 9th, 2010
Because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must show a chemical may be harmful before a company must test a chemical for safety, there is no safety data for most chemicals. Over the past three decades, the EPA has required testing on just 200 existing chemicals and restricted only five. Yet, we know that many more cause serious threats to human health. We shouldn’t continue to find out a substance is toxic only decades after its release, when the damage is already done.
The current toxics law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is widely acknowledged to be ineffective. Even the chemical industry acknowledges reform is necessary. However, the industry continues to fight and delay. Check out a new video from Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition depicting industry’s tactics.
There are over 80,000 chemicals in commerce today. A growing body of science has linked increased exposure to toxics to the rising incidence of a number of serious chronic diseases and disorders, including reduced fertility, learning disabilities, breast and prostate cancer, and certain childhood cancers. However, little is known about the vast majority of the tens of thousands of chemicals produced and used in the US.
The U.S. House of Representatives is about to release draft legislation to reform TSCA. Take a moment to write to your members of Congress to demand comprehensive toxics reform and require industry to show a product is safe BEFORE it goes on the market.
To learn more about how toxics in our products affect your health and the environment, check out GreenerChoices.org, a project of Consumer Reports.