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Companies report use of toxic chemicals in products

Overlay-poison-bgA new report out from the Environmental Health Strategy Center, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, and SAFER States shares information about the use of two chemicals, bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) in household products.

The information was obtained through reporting required on these chemicals under the 2008 Kids Safe Products Act.

Major findings:

  1. 280 plastic toys sold in Maine contained BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical that is linked to several harmful health effects, including: breast and prostate cancer, early onset puberty, reproductive harm, diabetes and obesity.
  2. NPEs were reported in 291 household paints and at least 69 other products, like cleaners, wood stains, and caulking. NPEs are also hormone disrupters and have been linked with reproductive damage.
  3. Some companies may not be reporting as required under the Maine law. Several companies that manufacture baby food did not report BPA in food packaging, although the chemical continues to be used in the lids of baby food jars.
  4. Safer alternatives are gaining traction. Three manufacturers of infant formula reported that they have phased out the use of BPA in the lining of metal cans containing formula.

Perhaps one of the most significant conclusions of the report is that state chemical policy is a proven and effective tool and has successfully begun to fill data gaps on the use of chemicals of concern in products.

But there is more to be done. This report also shows us once again that our federal system for regulating chemicals is badly broken. Is that something you want to change? You can take action now by sending a holiday card to congress!



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