The American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued a policy statement indicating they would like to see better regulation of toxins to prevent exposure to children and pregnant women. They say the main law which is supposed to regulate the management of chemicals allowed into our homes, workplaces and the outdoors has not been updated in a meaningful way since 1976. You can imagine in the last thirty-five years, many new industrial chemicals have been invented, manufactured and released into the world, and you would be right.
In their policy statement they said this of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), “Under the TSCA, chemical companies have no responsibility to perform premarket testing or postmarket follow-up of the products that they produce; in fact, the TSCA contains disincentives for the companies to produce such data. (Source: Pediatrics.aapublications.org) Seventy thousand chemicals were in use in the United States in 2002 according to the TSCA Chemical Substances Inventory. NPR notes that there are now actually 80,000 chemicals in use. Will there be 90,000 in 2020?
The Environmental Working Group has launched a website to help raise awarness about toxic chemicals reform. Their safe chemicals blog has current articles about various toxins and their health effects in American communities. No one seems to know exactly what the long-term effects of exposure to them is on humans and the environment.
For example, recent research on a common fungicide showed it killed nearly ninety percent of frogs exposed to it. Even worse, no one understands what happens when the many chemicals interact with one another inside a human being, or within the environment. A PBS special with Bill Moyers stated there are twenty new chemicals released every week. They also had a physician test Moyer’s blood for chemicals and found 84 manmade substances in it. There were 31 PCBs present, and pesticides like DDT.
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