Quantcast

Fed Up With Toxic Chemicals? Tell Congress to Support Safety Testing in Consumer Products

Women's Voices for the Earth

By Jamie McConnell

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Two important pieces of legislation to protect women’s health have been introduced in Congress: The Safe Chemicals Act and the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act. Both bills will reduce women’s exposure to toxic chemicals by requiring chemicals to be tested for safety before they are allowed in consumer products like cosmetics and furniture. Passage of these bills cannot come soon enough.

As a woman, I have enough to worry about without fretting that the products I’m buying and using in my home may harm my health. But I do worry, and that’s because I know our current laws are not protecting us from exposure to toxic chemicals. Cosmetic ingredients do not have to be tested for safety; as a result we end up with lead in lipstick, mercury in mascara and formaldehyde in hair straighteners (and that’s only naming a few of the most egregious examples). Similarly, very little safety testing is done of chemicals used in consumer goods–so we end up with BPA in canned food linings and chlorinated tris in mattresses and furniture, to name a few (I could fill up 100 blogs with examples of nasty chemicals in consumer products, but I’ll spare you).

It is so frustrating to me that the burden of finding safer products is put on consumers, when it should be the manufacturer’s responsibility to prove their products are safe. I should be able to go into a store, pick a product off the shelf, and trust that it won’t contain a chemical linked to cancer or birth defects.

What’s more, often times it’s hard to know if toxic chemicals are even in the product in the first place, since many products don’t carry an ingredient label. Recently, my husband and I bought a chair for our living room. When I found out it had polyurethane foam I called the store we bought it from and asked if the foam was treated with flame retardants like chlorinated tris. They had no idea. We returned the chair.

To top it off, safe, non-toxic products often cost considerably more. I know there are sofas and chairs available that are not treated with chlorinated tris, but I can’t afford to shell out the big bucks it often costs to buy a safer alternative. This is not just a health issue, it’s an economic justice issue. Just because folks like me can’t afford a $1,000 chair doesn’t mean that we should have to be exposed to a dose of toxic chemicals. It’s just not right. And by the way, my husband and I are still chair-less.

The Safe Chemicals Act and the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act will help to ensure all products have less toxic chemicals in them. So, if this law passes and I go into a store to buy a chair, I can be rest assured that the chair probably doesn’t have chlorinated tris in it. Or, if I buy a bottle of shampoo or lotion, I’ll have some assurance that they don’t contain ingredients linked to cancer or reproductive harm.

These bills will place the burden on manufacturers to prove the safety of the chemicals they use in their products, and as far as I’m concerned that’s more than fair. If they are the ones profiting from the sales of these goods, they should bear the burden (and yes, cost) of ensuring their products are safe.

I probably don’t need to tell you that laws like this will only pass if you raise your voice and tell your congressional reps to support legislation to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in products. It’s super easy and I promise it doesn’t take long. After all, we have a zillion other things we need to worry about! With your help toxic chemicals in products could be one less thing on the worry list.

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Record flood water levels in Venice hit again on Sunday making this the worst week of flooding in the city in over 50 years.

Read More Show Less

By Brian Barth

Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less