We all want to make sure that our loved ones are happy and most of all stay healthy. Teaching your children to make smart choices about what they eat and encouraging physical activity is only the beginning of living a healthy lifestyle. But did you know that more than 80,000 dangerous chemicals are found in every day products on the market today? These toxins have not been adequately safety tested and are used by millions of Americans. Do you know what is in your new carpet, child‘s toys or your baby‘s bottle? These items are not sold with ingredient labels, but maybe they should.
The US government’s first attempt to raise awareness of this issue was through congress passing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976. The new law was supposed to require companies to develop safety information for the thousands of chemicals that we come into contact with on a daily basis and to give government the power to regulate the dangerous ones. Even after the law passed 62,000 chemicals in use at the time remained on the market without testing. The EPA has only required testing on a few hundred of those toxins and today more than 20,000 new chemicals have been introduced a lot of them without information about how they may impact our health.
You may find these chemicals in various places throughout your home including:
- Food Can Linings
- Nonstick Cookware
- Stain-resistant Fabrics
- Pizza Boxes
- Fast Food Containers
- and Pavement from Parking Lots and Driveways
Phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), Trichloroethylene (TCE) and toluene, and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in the products listed above can lead to health related illnesses like, cancer, infertility, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cataracts. I believe that further research should be done on these chemicals and products to find out if they are truly causing the increase in certain illnesses.
Over the last three decades there has been an increase in children’s brain cancer and leukemia by 40% in the US. I am skeptical as to whether or not the increase in childhood cancer is directly related to the products we use every single day.
Breast cancer has also more than doubled in 30 years. The greatest increase in the US is among younger women who are not at high risk for the disease. Is this also related? I think more research needs to be done before we jump to conclusions.
Although, many people believe that these chemicals are directly related to the increase in health problems in the US. The last President’s Cancer Panel report stated that exposure to toxic chemicals is significant and grossly under recognized risk factor for cancer. They recommended that the government take immediate action to reverse the trend. The panel decided that Congress should reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. They think that the US EPA should regulate known and suspected carcinogens.
The key word here in my opinion is “suspected.” If we are not sure if some of these chemicals are causing diseases like cancer than the government should help provide the funding for scientists and researchers to conduct studies on these suspected chemicals. As for all the children and women who have suffered with cancer surveys can be conducted to learn more about the products these people used every day. There is still more to learn.
Once more evidence is found linking these chemicals to health hazards I believe that Americans should be informed so that they can make educated decisions about the purchases they make. Government regulation is not the answer, only through education we can make smart decisions for our family.
America is a Republic. The power is in the hands of our people, not the Federal Government. More regulation will hurt economic growth and take away our rights as American citizens to participate in a free market. Big Brother may think that we are not intelligent but I disagree. The Government however should educate society through public service ads once a link between these chemicals and the rise in health side effects is established. I also think that more companies should list the ingredients found in their products on the market today. But the government should not step in.
Do you believe that toxic chemicals are to blame for the increase in cancer and other diseases in the US today? Do you think that the Federal Government should revise the Toxic Substances Control Act and regulate chemicals found in every day products? Or do you think that through education we as American citizens can make our own decisions on what we expose our families to and what we purchase? If you believe that the Government needs to step in you can voice your concern by signing the petition to encourage your representatives to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.
*Please note: this is an editorial and may or may not reflect the opinions of all the writers here on The Healthy Moms Magazine.
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, manages Mom’s Natural Health and Wellness Store, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge.