When I became a mother, I always thought that I could trust products that I purchased for my children. Now, every day, it seems, a new scientific study emerges showing chemical exposure in products we once thought to be safe.
How did this happen?
Well, if we all thought the deregulation of the finance industry hurt us, just wait until we grasp the extent of harm from the deregulation of the chemical industry.
Things were so bad during the Bush administration with political appointee and industry influence and interference with scientists working on these issues in our government, that Union of Concerned Scientists polled many government scientists to document the phenomena. Of course, this interference and influence impacted regulations and may have allowed toxic chemicals in products that should have never hit the marketplace in the first place.
Now, with a new administration, it is still shocking to hear a government bureaucrat repeat the old industry rhetoric, unchallenged by reporter Jon Hamilton, in an attack on an awakened consumer public and refreshingly intelligent Congress in a “news” story on National Public Radio.
Consumer Product Safety Commission staffer Marilyn Wind accused health advocates and Congress of “panicking” over phthalates, a toxic chemical now banned in products for children.
When one looks at Wind’s record, she has been resolutely defending phthalates, and interestingly, using outdated studies conducted, in part, by phthalate make Exxon Mobile, as her evidence. Shame on Dr. Wind for being a front person for the chemical industry while enjoying a position where she is supposed to protect our health and the health of our children.
Physician and scientist for Natural Resource Defense Council, Dr. Sarah Janssen, gives a compelling response to Wind’s comments regarding the scientific study on this dangerous chemical. The Breast Cancer Fund is calling for an immediate overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to rid our government of this holdover from the regime that just about did us all in. We should join together to insist that the Consumer Product Safety Commission uphold its duty to protect our children, and support scientists who are current with the increasing health data on dangers of chemicals like phthalates.
A new Danish study, for example, identifies more cases of autism where children are exposed to phthalates from the off gassing of poly vinyl chloride flooring. Environmental Health News reported on this and many other stories on chemicals hurting our health.
We’ve heard that the chemical industry is hiring moms to blog with the messaging that concern about chemical exposure is unnecessary panic; this could be all part of a big push to negate the efforts of so many to finally regulate chemicals and protect our children.
If the chemical industry and the manufacturers who use those chemicals refuse to be ethical and responsible, than we need a government that will tell them: Develop safer products or you’re out of business! And if NPR airs a story that accepts, unchallenged, this industry messaging, how can we trust National Public Radio?