WASHINGTON - July 21 - Clif Curtis, director of World Wildlife Fund's Global Toxics Program, issued the following statement today in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report on the public's exposure to toxic chemicals:
"The CDC's latest research confirms that the American public is exposed to widespread contamination by toxic chemicals, the effects of which are largely unknown."
"While today's report is an important first step, it falls short in recognizing the scale of chemical exposure to people and wildlife. WWF's own biomonitoring studies document that people are broadly contaminated with a range of chemicals that are not measured in the new CDC report such as brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals"
"The more chemicals we look for in the bodies of people and wildlife, the more we find. In reality, this report is only looking at the tip of the toxic iceberg."
"WWF hopes that the CDC will broaden its biomonitoring scope in future reports to include the newly emerging, persistent and bioaccumulative industrial chemicals to which we are all exposed. Tens of thousands of man-made chemicals are at large, in our homes, our environment and in our bodies. Many could be harmful and require closer study."
"The number and levels of chemicals reported by both the CDC report and WWF's biomonitoring show that voluntary measures by industry are not working. WWF believes that long-overdue legislation is needed to protect people and wildlife from the negative effects of toxic chemicals."
"The US should follow Europe's lead in charting a path toward a healthier future for its citizens."
"The European Union is in a crucial decision making process for achieving robust chemicals legislation (REACH) that, once approved, is very likely to provide the strongest and most effective chemical control and management regulation. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals) would put the burden squarely on industry to demonstrate the safety of existing and emerging chemicals. Chemicals of especially high concern would be phased out in favor of safer alternatives or, in the case of new chemicals, prevented from reaching the market altogether."
For further information on WWF's support for effective EU REACH legislation, see http://www.panda.org/detox