Babies and Chemicals and TSCA Reform
My most recent Celsias article is about the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act, and while I hope you’ll go read the whole thing over there, I’m breaking it down list-style for you today:
– The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the law that regulates chemicals in the U.S.
– It was enacted in 1976, the year I was born.
– Unfortunately, it hasn’t been updated since.
– That means 32 years of technology, manufacturing advances, and public health research have gone unmatched by a related advance in the only federal law that regulates chemicals.
– But wait, it gets worse! When the law went on the books back in the 70′s, it allowed for 62,000 chemicals already on the U.S. market to stay in circulation even though almost no information existed about their safety.
– Now, EPA estimates around 80,000 chemicals floating around this country, and there isn’t much information on the health effects of those, either.
– In 2005, Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted research that discovered 200+ chemicals in the cord blood of 10 newborn babies. And if that fact of so-called “pre-polluted” newborns doesn’t freak you out enough, remember that babies and kids are extra vulnerable to the side effects of pollution because their brains, organs, and body systems develop as they grow.
– Clearly, TSCA needs updated.
The Kid-Safe Chemicals Act (House bill H.R. 6100) would overhaul TSCA completely, requiring more and better testing of new and existing chemicals to make sure what’s found in our bodies isn’t going to kill us. And unlike so many wide-ranging problems facing this country, you can actually do something about this problem. EWG has a whole host of tools for you:
Finally, sign the Declaration (I did.) and pass the link along to your friends, relatives, neighbors, and readers. To stay updated on the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act and EWG’s other work, check out Enviroblog.