Part VI -- Stemming the Tide of Toxic Chemicals: A Special Focus on Endocrine Disruptors

In the last week, I’ve written about the urgent need for federal reform of the toxic chemical regulatory process in the United States. Today, I’ll wrap up my series with a plea for a special focus on endocrine disruptors, a class of chemicals that disrupt our hormone systems, which are in charge of all aspects of fetal development as well as the day-to-day running of our bodies as adults.

Why endocrine disruptors?  Thanks to extensive media coverage of this class of chemicals, Congress and the general public now understand the need to move here, which has increased the pressure for comprehensive chemical reform as well.

This is true both because the problems posed by bisphenol A, phthalates, dangerous flame retardants and other endocrine disrupting chemicals underscore the need for a more sensible approach, and because Congress and the states have increasingly adopted measures that narrowly target these chemicals, such as the recently adopted phthalates bans in toys.

In the coming year, we will work on this class of chemicals separately as well as under the banner of comprehensive chemical reform. We will specifically focus this work on four classes of endocrine disruptors:  (1) phthalates; (2) the antimicrobials Triclocarban (TCC) and Triclosan (TCS); (3) Bisphenol-A (BPA); and (4) flame-retardants. 

Now is the time to act.

Insufficient regulations and lax enforcement have allowed far too large a stream of toxics to flow into our daily lives. The rates of environmentally linked diseases are rising and new threats to children are emerging. Science and common sense regulations can help us stem the tide of toxic chemicals and protect our health and the health of our families.

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