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Over 80,000 chemicals are registered for use in the United States today. Human health and safety data is available for less than 20% of these chemicals. The EPA has not banned any chemicals since 1990 and about 1,500 new chemicals enter the market each year. There is an increasing incidence of cancer, birth defects, infertility, autism, asthma, diabetes, and a host of other health problems. Could human exposure to chemicals, the health effects of which are unknown, be causing this increased burden of disease?
Our current chemical regulatory system provides almost no protection from the potential harm that industrial chemicals might be causing, here and now. It also does very little to protect future generations from possible health effects of chemicals coming on to the market. Reform of the chemical regulatory system is essential to protect public health and spur the development of safer alternatives. Known toxic chemicals must be phased out of production and replaced with healthier alternatives. In addition, comprehensive information about the health risks of industrial chemicals, especially those produced at high volumes, must be routinely provided to regulatory agencies. Both these goals can be achieved through state-by-state strengthening of chemical regulations, generating a cascade effect to drive federal reform to the Toxics Substance Control act that registers and regulates industrial chemicals within the United States.
Healthcare professionals are the key to achieving meaningful reform of the chemical regulatory system. Building on the understanding that chemical reform benefits themselves as well as their patients, healthcare professionals can become a credible voice for chemical policy reform, forging a grassroots movement to protect the health of future generations. Through the Confronting Toxics campaign, PSR aims to develop the leadership of health care professionals in the area of chemical regulatory reform.
The Toolkit is a combination of easy-to-use reference guides for health providers and user-friendly health education materials on preventing exposures to toxic chemicals and other substances that affect infant and child health. Read more »
PSR tabling materials for outreach at students and informational fairs Read more »