We know a lot about how toxic chemicals hurt kids. Babies are born with more than 200 chemicals in their bodies. Rates of childhood cancer keep rising, while other types of cancer are holding steady or declining. Every ecosystem, person and animal on the planet is contaminated with toxic chemicals. It’s not just factories that harbor dangerous chemicals; our couches, lotions, household cleaners, toys, building materials, canned foods and more in our homes are made with chemicals known to harm human health.
We live in a stew of toxic chemicals. There are 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States, but only 200 of them have been tested.
How did this happen? One big reason is that the national law that is supposed to protect us from toxic chemicals is a total failure. Passed in 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act has been rendered essentially toothless, with no authority to ensure the safety of chemicals before they are added to products. As a result, the chemical industry has added millions of pounds of chemicals linked to cancer, asthma, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities and other diseases and conditions to products we use everyday.