Keeping Children Safe From Untested Chemicals Through the Kids-Safe Chemical Act
Emerging science increasingly links exposure to toxic chemicals to the incidence of serious health problems. A recent example is Bisphenol-A (BPA). Ten years ago there were very few studies on this chemical used to make baby bottles, plastic food containers and the linings of canned food. In the last few years, BPA has been linked to a variety of health problems, such as neural and behavioral defects, cancer and infertility.
This news was a frightening wake up call for many consumers about unknown chemicals in products they use every day.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA), passed by Congress in 1976, mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct or review safety studies on new chemicals before allowing them to be used in consumer products. While the science has changed, there have been no changes in the TSCA. In the 33 years since the act has passed, the EPA has required testing on just 200 of the more than 80,000 new synthetic, human-made chemical compounds developed for products used in the home. Moreover, under federal law, the EPA does not have the authority to demand the information it needs to evaluate a chemical’s risk, and neither manufacturers nor the EPA are required to prove a chemical’s safety as a condition of use.
Seventh Generation, the trusted brand of authentic, safe and environmentally responsible products for the living home, has teamed up with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, a coalition of nearly 30 leading non-governmental organizations including the Environmental Defense Fund and Healthy Child Healthy World, to influence Congress to overhaul our nation’s chemical regulatory law. Called the Kid-Safe Chemical Act, it requires that industrial chemicals be safe for infants and children and new chemicals be safety tested before they are put into products; it will also require chemical manufacturers to test and prove that the untested chemicals already on the market are safe in order for them to remain in commerce and that this information is publicly available.In full disclosure: Mom It Forward, Inc. is not a member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition and takes a neutral stand on this issue. All questions and comments on this topic should be directed to Seventh Generation or Million Baby Crawl.