Doctors Join the Call for Strong Chemical Safety RulesBy Charles Margulis
Nine years ago, CEH co-authored a paper detailing how U.S. chemical policy rules favor chemical corporations at the risk of our children’s and families’ health. The key recommendation was a simple, common-sense change in federal chemical rules: require companies to demonstrate the safety of chemicals before they are allowed to use them in thousands of products that end up in all of our homes, schools and workplaces.
Now two of the nation’s leading medical authorities on pregnancy and reproductive health have joined the call for this common-sense policy change. In their editorial, “Real reform can curb exposure to toxic chemicals,” the president of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the past-president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine note that all of us, every day, are exposed to untested, potentially harmful chemicals. They point out that government rules require new drugs to undergo safety testing before they can be sold – but thousands of new chemicals are used in common products without any safety data. The doctors warn that pregnant women and children who are exposed to harmful chemicals can experience serious and sometimes lifelong health problems, including infertility and an increased risk of cancer.
Like CEH, the physicians call for strong chemical safety rules that specifically protect pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable groups, and that include real timelines and deadlines for action. Unfortunately, current Congressional proposals (in the House and Senate) for new chemical policies fall far short of this urgent call for real reform.
Chemical policy reform is long overdue. Our children and families shouldn’t have to wait another nine years for safer, healthier homes, schools and workplaces.