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I got a call the other day from a mother in Louisiana whose two year old daughter had started growing breasts. Today, there came another call from a mom who is anguishing over the plastic baby bottles she has been using for her children. I know another mother, whose daughter was born with Down Syndrome, who wonders about the role chemical exposure has played in her child’s neurodevelopmental condition. I receive these calls because I helped produce a video, Contaminated without Consent, that tells people about chemical exposure. My own daughter’s thyroid stopped working when she was eleven years old. Could it be from the bisphenol A (BPA) she received when I poured her infant formula from BPA lined cans into BPA containing plastic bottles, which then leached more BPA when I heated them up in the microwave? Or could it be the flame retardant chemicals, mandated to be put in all furniture manufactured here in California? The chemical exposure crisis has been hidden, but now seems evident in rising rates of chemical exposure linked illness such as obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, breast cancer, reproductive problems, neurodevelopmental effects and other illness. Like the deregulation of Wall Street, the deregulation of the chemical industry has created a “toxic soup” of chemical exposure that forces consumers to work hard to protect themselves from toxic products. Unlike Wall Street, the time it takes for us to recover from this widespread chemical exposure may take generations. That’s why dozens of science and health based groups, aligned with consumers and others (including MomsRising) have written Guiding Principles for Chemical Regulatory Reform for the Obama transition government. The good news is that there are sustainable solutions to the toxic chemical problem, and there are good, hard working people who are devoting their lives’ work to cleaning up our environment from these bad chemicals. We are looking to President-elect Obama to bring hope to this situation, too, and are calling for an immediate recognition of toxic chemical exposure as an urgent crisis in the United States and the world. President-elect Obama needs to hear from you on these issues and other topics that are impacting the health of our families. He’s invited input at We hope that, working together, we can support President-elect Obama to rebuild the U.S. economy and international standing in the world, while implementing chemical reform on every level of U.S. government to halt the under-reported crisis of chemical exposure.

Stephenie Hendricks’ Blog.

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