Health Impacts

Health effects of current chemical policies

All the products we come into contact with each day — from soap to non-stick cookware to baby bottles, food, furniture and more – can contain chemicals that are known to cause health problems, and chemicals that have never been assessed for their potential threat to our health. Tens of thousands of chemicals are used by industry today, and chemical companies are introducing hundreds more new and untested chemicals every year.

The result of more than a hundred years of our government’s policy to put chemical company profits before our health or the environment are easy to see. To list just a few examples.

  • Lead has been known to poison the brain and lead to serious learning problems and reproductive health problems for decades. Yet there was no federal law to ban lead in children’s products until 2008 – following years of work by CEH to expose lead threats to children in everything from baby bibs to lunchboxes to candy, jewelry, and dozens more kids’ products.
  • Dioxins have long been known to be among the most dangerous chemicals on the planet; they can cause cancer and are linked to developmental problems, reproductive problems and infertility, immune system damage, and hormone disruption. The EPA has been “assessing” the health risks from dioxins for more than thirty years and has still not finalized rules to protect children and families from these risks.
  • Millions of workers have died from exposures to asbestos, and an estimated 10,000 people in the U.S. die every year from asbestos-related illnesses. Yet we still don’t have a comprehensive national law to protect workers or families from asbestos exposures.

It is long past time to change this backwards approach to chemical policies. CEH fights for chemical regulations that put your children’s and families’ health first.