New Bill to Protect Children from Untested Chemicals


Emerging science increasingly links exposure to toxic chemicals with serious health problems. From bisphenol-A in baby bottles to phthalates in children’s toys and flame retardants in nursery furnishings, the modern world is filled with synthetic compounds that research now shows likely cause neurological and behavioral disorders, reproductive and developmental disruption, cancer and other troubles.

There are hundreds of untested chemicals in the products families use every day. The law that directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct safety reviews of chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was passed by Congress in 1976. Since then, the EPA has investigated just 200 of the more than 80,000 chemical compounds available to manufacturers today. Critics of the law say it doesn’t give the EPA enough authority to demand that companies supply the information needed to evaluate a chemical’s risk.

Now, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, a coalition of nearly 30 leading non-governmental organizations, is working to help Congress overhaul the nation’s chemical regulations. Other supporters of the coalition include the Environmental Defense Fund, Healthy Child Healthy World and Seventh Generation, the maker of all-natural cleaning products and diapers. The group supports new legislation proposed by several Congresspeople, including Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). The legislation would require that new chemicals be safety-tested before they are put into products that children and others use. Manufacturers would also have to prove that chemicals already in production are free of danger. This information would be publicly available so that consumers could see exactly what they’re bringing home.

For more information on how you can help the proposed legislation become law, visit

Editor’s note: this post is sponsored by Seventh Generation.

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