Toxic chemicals in your home have become a true health hazard. Do you have kids? Kids are significantly more susceptible to toxins than adults. Learn more….
The group says children’s developing brains and bodies are far more vulnerable than adults’ to toxins. The Toxic Substances Control Act hasn’t been updated since 1976, Paulson says. That law treats chemicals as “innocent until proven guilty,” which puts the burden on the government to prove something is harmful, says pediatrician Harvey Karp, a longtime environmental advocate who was not involved in the new policy. The current law is so weak that the Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t even able to use it to ban asbestos, says Sarah Janssen, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In all, the law has been used to regulate just five chemicals or chemical classes out of the 80,000 chemicals used by businesses, Paulson says. And although companies are required to notify the EPA about new chemicals, they aren’t require to test chemicals for safety. Only about 15% of these notifications include health or safety test data, according to the Government Accountability Office.