Part of our Chemicals of Concern series.
Decades ago the chemical industry assured American consumers that potentially toxic chemicals used in everyday products like furniture and plastics would not be absorbed into our bodies – and therefore posed no risk to human health. We now know differently: As chemicals have become ever more pervasive in our society, government studies show that hundreds of synthetic chemicals are in the bodies of all Americans. They are even present in newborn infants due to exposures in the womb coming from their mothers during pregnancy.
In its 2010 report the President's Cancer Panel (PCP) found that, "The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated," and was the first time that the panel made the link between chemical exposures and their significant contribution to cancer. Chemicals don’t respect demographics, they are in us wherever and however we live and work.
Exposures to chemicals have been linked to numerous disorders and diseases that are increasing in incidence including certain cancers, infertility and learning and developmental disabilities. These problems are the direct result of the absence of an effective national chemicals policy in the United States, which leaves us largely on our own to try to figure out what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from toxic exposures.
In I Am Not a Guinea Pig's weekly Chemicals of Concern series, we will take a closer look into some chemicals of most concern to the public. Many of these chemicals are found in basic products and materials that we encounter regularly in our daily lives.
We invite you to share information, ideas and personal stories about how you are seeking to avoid toxic chemicals in your lives and what you are doing to advocate for better government policy. Our intention is to provide a venue for people to come together and build a collective reference of useful information, thoughts, and actions.