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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Avoid household toxins: Take action!

Avoid household toxins: Take action!



Posted on November 30, 2010Bookmark and Share

Andy Igrejas Originally published November 30, 2010 by Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.

By guest blogger Andy Igrejas, national campaign director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition

These days, more of us are thinking about what lurks in the manufactured products in our lives. From baby bottles made with bisphenol-A (BPA) to carpets containing formaldehyde, dangerous chemicals are all around us.

Lest we think that these chemicals only sound nefarious because of their long, weird names, there is an increasing body of evidence that they can be extremely toxic. Experts like those on the President’s Cancer Panel believe that we’ve been underestimating the harm to human health from chemicals for years. Scientific studies have documented widespread human exposures to toxics in everyday products, and have linked those exposures to the rising incidence of a number of serious chronic diseases and disorders, including reduced fertility, learning disabilities, breast and prostate cancer, and certain childhood cancers.

How did these toxic intruders end up in our toys, cooking supplies, and cleaning products, and why aren’t manufacturers responsible for upholding our safety? The reality is that tens of thousands of chemicals have been introduced into the market, but little or nothing has been done to ensure their safety. Our federal law regulating the chemicals where we live, work, play, and sleep has not been updated in over thirty years.

In the hopes of creating the healthiest environment for our families, some of us opt for products that are made of natural materials, or claim to be “chemical free.” Yet, try as we might, we simply can’t shop our way out of this problem. Even if everything we purchase has a prominent “green” label, chemical toxins are so pervasive that there is no way to be completely selective about our exposure.

So, what can we do? A powerful first step would be to finally revise our federal law governing chemicals.

Legislation has been introduced in DC this year that would have made substantial changes to the law intended to keep harmful chemicals in check—the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. As you might imagine, the chemical industry is not excited about the prospects of increased scrutiny, and deployed a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to defeat reform.

Representatives of the chemical industry are powerful and have extensive influence on politicians. However, we believe that American families, united by the interests of our health and well-being, are even more powerful. (Recent polling conducted by the Mellman Group showed widespread public support for reform.) This is why we are encouraging people who care about this issue to join Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The coalition represents more than 11 million individuals and includes parents, health professionals, advocates for people with learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive-health experts, environmentalists, and businesses from across the nation.

We know that national momentum is on our side. Americans are looking more carefully at our environment and how exposure to toxins impacts our lives. The chemical industry may have been able to ensure three decades without scrutiny, but it can’t go on forever.

Progress is already being made at the state level. Seventy-one bills in 18 states have been passed to address toxic chemicals, and a few states, including Maine, Washington, Minnesota, and California, have moved to develop their own consumer-protection systems in the absence of federal rules. Progress might be slower in DC, but with the involvement of more concerned individuals and families, we are sure that meaningful reform is inevitable.

To learn more about this issue and find out how to join the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, please visit SaferChemicals.org.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by MomVantage.net! Have a wonderful week!! I am following you back :)
    Jessie

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Did you know.................
50% of all illness is due to poor indoor air quality (Source: 1989 State of Massachusetts Study)
AIR FRESHENERS: interfere with the ability to smell by coating nasal passages with an oily film, or by releasing a nerve deadening agent! Toxins in air fresheners include: Formaldehyde: highly toxic, known carcinogen. Phenol: can cause skin to burn, peel, and sweat. Can cause convulsions, coma, circulatory collapse and even DEATH!

LIQUID DISH-SOAPS: is the leading cause of poisonings in the home for children under the age of 6 (over 2.1 million accidental poisonings per year) (contains formaldehyde and ammonia in most brands) One Million poisonings in Canada each year are due to household cleaner ingestion. Some are fatal. The #1 cause of household poisoning is dish detergent. What kinds of chemicals are in those products? http://www.rense.com/general19/chemical.htm

AUTOMATIC DISHWASHING DETERGENTS: contain dry chlorine that is highly concentrated. #1 cause of child poisonings, according to poison control centers.

CHLORINE BLEACH: is a strong corrosive and can burn or irritate skin, eyes and the respiratory system. Can cause vomiting or coma if swallowed! WARNING! Never mix with ammonia as the fumes are very dangerous and can be DEADLY!

AMMONIA: is very volatile and damaging to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract!

FURNITURE POLISH: contains Petroleum Distillates, which are highly flammable and can cause lung and skin cancer!

DRAIN CLEANER: most drain cleaners contain lye, hydrochloric acid or trichloroethane, which are all very caustic. They burn the skin and eyes, and can cause liver and kidney damage.

OVEN CLEANER: contain lye, which is a strong caustic and irritant to skin and eyes. Can cause tissue damage if swallowed.

TOOTHPASTE: can contain a number of harmful ingredients, such as: ammonia, benzyl alcohol/sodium benzoate, colors, ethanol, flavours, fluoride, formaldehyde, mineral oil, plastic (PVP), saccharin. Formaldehyde, mineral oil, PVP, and saccharin are all classified as carcinogens or suspected carcinogen, as is fluoride, which has been banned in many European countries and is the subject of concern with regard to thyroid problems. In fact, as of April 1997, toothpaste is required to carry poison control information on the label as even a small amount can harm or kill a small child.

Occupational Safety & Health analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products. A personal care product is de-fined as anything we use to clean our bodies, or make ourselves look or smell good.
The results are as follows:
884 are toxic
146 cause tumours
218 cause reproductive complications
314 cause biological mutation
376 cause skin and eye irritations
778 caused acute toxicity

Over the last 20-30 years, as more toxic chemicals have been introduced in greater amounts, the level of toxins stored in adipose tissues (fat cells) of our bodies has risen. Bio-accumulation studies have shown that some toxins store in our bodies for life. Greater and greater amounts are being stored at younger ages. Diseases that used to occur later in life are now appearing at younger ages. Diseases that used to be rare are more frequent. For Example: There has been a 28% increase in childhood cancer since the addition of pesticides into household products. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

In one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma (29% for men; 82% for women-the higher rate for women is believed to be due to women's longer exposure times to household chemicals) (Source: Center for Disease Control)

Due to the increase in toxic build-up in our bodies, including the toxic build-up of formaldehyde, dead bodies are not decomposing as fast as they used to. (Source: National Institutes of Health)

There is an increased risk for leukemia in children where parents have used pesticides in the home or garden before the
child's birth (Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute)

Over 150 chemicals found in the average home have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological
abnormalities. (Source): Consumer Product Safety Commission

In most cases, however, you won't find much information on the label. There are no requirements of manufacturers to actually disclose what is in a product, and there is no regulation or enforcement. All of it falls under proprietary trade secret legislation.

Today, cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 35-74. In 1901 cancer was considered a rare disease. Statistics show that only 1 out of 8000 people had cancer. TODAY, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 out of every 3 people has cancer. TODAY, 1 out of every 2 people has been touched by cancer. The fear of cancer is on every-one’s mind these days. So many forms of cancer and they all had to start somewhere . . .

How Safe is My Family?
This is the question that every parent should be asking themselves.

We have no choice but to breathe the air, eat the food, and drink the water; but we DO have a CHOICE of what we put on our skin and what products we have in our homes.

I know that I personally do not ever want to believe that I caused harm to my family, when I had the choice to change it. I’d love to help ensure a safer home for your family.

For more information on how to make your home a healthier place for you and your family please go to my website and I will call you with the information. I would love to help you have a healthier safer home!
Jennifer McLennan
www.WorkAtHomeMomJen.com

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