In recent years, scientific research has documented the levels of toxic chemicals to which Americans are exposed and the possible links to disturbing trends in chronic disease. In 2000, the Pew Environmental Health Commission highlighted children’s particular vulnerability to pollutants with its reports on rising asthma rates, pediatric cancers and the increase in certain birth defects.
Unfortunately, our national policies have not kept pace with technological advances. We do not properly test and track the chemicals that end up in the foods we eat, the medicines we inhale, or even the latest consumer product inventions.
Support grew in Congress to address major deficiencies in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was designed to provide sufficient safety information to companies using chemicals in their products, and the consumers of these goods. Currently, minimal data is available for fewer than 3,000 of the roughly 80,000 chemicals in the TSCA inventory.
Our Environment and Health groups operated a joint initiative on environmental health to modernize TSCA to emphasize better protections for children.
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Over the past few decades, the reproductive health of Americans appears to have declined. Diseases, disorders and conditions that affect the development and functioning of the male and female reproductive systems—including fertility problems, miscarriages, pre-term births, low birthweights and certain birth defects—have risen. In addition, incidence rates of testicular cancer have... Read More
Today, one in six children in the United States has a developmental or learning disability.1 Some experts say many of these may be due in part to early exposures to toxic chemicals.2 The number of children diagnosed with these disabilities has increased dramatically over the past four decades.3,4 While heightened awareness and changes in diagnostic criteria have contributed to this upsurge,... Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Andy Igrejas, manager of The Pew Charitable Trusts' Environmental Health campaign, today issued the following statement in response to the ban on phthalates in children's toys and childcare articles that was included in the conference agreement on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act. Read More