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Chemicals, both synthetic and natural, are ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives. Nearly every action we engage in entails some degree of chemical exposure: walking on carpeted flooring, sitting on upholstered furniture, brushing our teeth, preparing and storing food, touching plastics, even breathing in dust particles. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the health effects of chronic, aggregate exposure to these chemicals is still relatively limited, and the federal regulatory system in place does little to protect us against their potential for harm, instead favoring an “industry-first” approach.
This paper offers a comprehensive examination of the class of chemical compounds known as "endocrine disruptors." We discuss the numerous reported health effects of these chemicals and provide evidence demonstrating how these effects may vary depending on the timeline of exposure. We analyze the current chemical regulatory systems in place, both on the national level as well as in Washington State, highlighting their weaknesses and offering suggestions for reform. Finally, we discuss implications of voluntary, industry-led innovations in green chemistry with a local case study, and conclude with recommendations for a comprehensive system of responsible chemical management.
Learn More & Take Action
PSR is a member organization of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign, which is fighting for national chemical policy reform that will do three things:
1. Take immediate action on the most dangerous chemicals. Persistent, bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, which are uniquely hazardous, should be phased out of commerce.
2. Hold industry accountable for the safety of their chemicals and products. Chemical companies should be required to provide full information on the health and environmental impacts of all their chemicals.
3. Use the best science to protect all people and vulnerable groups. Chemicals should meet a standard of safety for all people, including children, pregnant women, and workers.
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WPSR is also a member of the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition, creating advocacy opportunities for Washington residents to demand safe chemical policies in our state.
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