For Immediate Release
Public Health Advocate
New Report: Toxic Chemicals in Consumer Products Increasingly Linked to Public Health Problems
WASHINGTON - Serious health problems – including premature birth, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, asthma and allergies, early puberty, obesity, diabetes, reduced fertility, and some types of cancer – are increasingly linked with exposure to chemicals that can interfere with the process of growth and development, according to Growing Up Toxic– a new report released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
The new report reviews data from more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers in detailing the effects that toxic chemicals can have on the development of children from before birth to adulthood. Over and over again, new toxic chemical compounds have been introduced into commerce, with their health effects discovered only later. The report also points out the barriers built into the U.S. chemical regulatory systems that prevent meaningful action to protect the public.
“From before they are born, kids are exposed repeatedly to toxic chemicals -- in the toys they play with, the carpets they learn to crawl on and the food they eat,” said U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock. “Our homes should not be hazardous to our health. We need common sense laws that require thorough testing before harmful products and toxic chemicals are on the market instead of waiting until the evidence is overwhelming that they're accumulating at toxic levels in our bodies.”
U.S. PIRG calls for reform of U.S. chemicals policy thattakes immediate action on the most dangerous chemicals, holds manufacturers responsible for ensuring the safety of their chemicals and products before they are on the market, and uses the best science to protect public health.
“We could reduce the incidence of childhood cancers, breast cancer, and asthma dramatically by taking common-sense steps, like giving the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to step in quickly when it has reason to believe a chemical is unsafe,” said Hitchcock. “Congress must put public health priorities ahead of the special interests of the chemical lobby.”
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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.