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Everyday Products contain chemicals linked to hormone disruption and asthma

 By Kathleen Schuler, MPH, Co-Director Healthy Legacy and Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

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Yet another study has found dangerous chemicals in products we and our children use every day. A peer-reviewed study, published last week in Environmental Health Perspectives, detailed testing by the Silent Spring Institute of 213 consumer products, including cleaning products, cosmetics, sunscreens, air fresheners, shower curtains and more, to detect the presence of harmful chemicals. 

 Previous studies have found a variety of harmful chemicals in household dust. The current study helps to identify some of the potential sources of the chemicals showing up there. Unfortunately, incomplete labeling makes this research more difficult. The study found that many of the chemicals detected were not on the product label. 

Researchers found 55 compounds, including the following and many more:

  1. Phthalates in perfumes, car air fresheners, vinyl pillow protectors and shower curtains, dryer sheets, car wax and interior cleaners, tub and tile cleaner, bar soap, shaving cream and lipstick- all unlabeled!
  2. Bisphenol A in vinyl pillow protectors and shower curtains, dish and laundry detergent, tub and tile cleaner, soaps, lotions, shampoo, conditioner and sunscreen - all unlabeled!
  3. Synthetic fragrances in facial cleansers, floor cleaner, sunscreen, perfume, dryer sheets, home and car air fresheners- in 12 of 34 products unlabeled!

Even if consumers read the label, they can’t avoid these “hidden” chemicals.  Consumers need better labeling so they can make safer product choices. But we also need to take steps to remove these harmful chemicals from every day consumer products.

Take action!

This study found unlabeled phthalates and bisphenol A in a variety of products. Both of these chemicals are on the Minnesota Priority Chemicals list, which identifies harmful chemicals that children are most likely to be exposed to. That’s why we need to pass HF2543/SF1766, which requires manufacturers to report if they have a product containing a “priority chemical.” This information will help us inform parents about which products to avoid.

Write to your state senator and representative today, asking them to support the Priority Chemical Reporting Bill!



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