It's Time for Limits on Toxic Chemicals | Seventh Generation
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It's Time for Limits on Toxic Chemicals

Author: 7thDave

Dr Greene Goes OrganicAt Seventh Generation, we've always helped you protect planet home by formulating products that are safe for you and the environment, and by fully disclosing ingredients on our labels. But dangerous chemicals still lurk in our homes, in many of the products we use every day.

It's time for common sense limits on toxic chemicals.

New studies link increased exposure to toxic chemicals to a rise in serious and chronic health problems. Nearly half of all Americans live with a chronic disease, and the rates continue to climb.

The federal law that should protect us from health-harming chemicals isn't working. Since 1976, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required safety testing on only 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals on the market.

We need stronger regulation of chemicals to keep our families safe and healthy. You can help by sending a message to the members of Congress who represent your state in Washington, DC, telling them it's time to update the law governing toxic chemicals.

Here's what we want a new bill to do:

  1. Take quick action on the most dangerous chemicals
  2. Require complete information on the health and environmental hazards associated with all chemicals
  3. Protect all people, including vulnerable groups -- children and pregnant women -- using the best science

To help turn this new bill into law, we have partnered with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a diverse nationwide coalition comprised of environmental groups, health professionals, and others working to pass smart federal policies that protect us from toxic chemicals.

Learn more about Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. We also invite you to a Q&A on household toxins with Dr. Alan Greene, a practicing pediatrician and renowned authority on family health issues.


AlexisBaden-Mayer picture
Hi Greywolf, I wrote that article for Organic Consumers Association, relying on what I now know to be outdated EPA information. I have since learned that the EPA assessed thymol as a surface cleanser in food service and processing this year and concluded: Thymol is an essential oil that is extracted from thyme and mandarine and tangerine oils and is FDA approved when used as a synthetic flavoring (21 CFR 172.515), a preservative, and indirect food additive of adhesives (21 CFR 175.105). Additionally, the source plant (thyme), from which thymol is extracted is acknowledged by FDA as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) (21 CFR 182.10, 21 CFR 182.20). Residues of thymol can be found in other food stuffs either naturally such as that found in lime honey or intentionally added to foods such as ice-cream, non-alcoholic beverages, candy, baked goods, and chewing gum. Based on the following, the Agency has concluded that thymol has minimal potential toxicity and poses minimal risk: 1. Thymol is a normal constituent of the human diet and a component of many non-pesticidal consumer products currently marketed in the United States, 2. Thymol and the phenols of thymol are listed as food additives by the FDA (21 CFR 172.515; synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants), 3. Thymol is found naturally occurring in thyme herb, a food seasoning ingredient that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA (21 CFR 182.10), 4. Thyme oil (for which thymol is a component) also is recognized as a GRAS essential oil by the FDA (21 CFR 182.20), 5. Thymol can be presumed non-persistent in the environment based on knowledge of its composition, 6. As a conventional pesticide, thymol repels vertebrate pests by a non-toxic mode of action, 7. The available toxicity information does not indicate toxic effects at the levels of potential exposure and 8. EPA is not aware of any adverse effects to humans or the environment in the scientific literature associated with any thymol related use. I have posted a retraction of the earlier article on our site. I offer you, Seventh Generation and all of our readers my sincere apology for the mistake. Alexis Baden-Mayer
Greywolf picture
Seventh Generation's recent press release: "Seventh Generation's spray cleaners and wipes perform as well as the leading conventional products, killing 99.99 percent of germs, and cut through grease and grime, without synthetic ingredients or chemical components. The active ingredient in the disinfectant line is thymol, which is a component of thyme oil derived from the herb thyme. The essential oils in the products, including thyme and lemongrass, naturally deodorize and effectively control odors." Information from Organic Consumers Association: Thyme and lemongrass? Sounds lovely, but what is thymol really? Thymol is registered with the EPA as a pesticide and listed in the Hazardous Substances Data Bank. The Material Safety Data Sheet on thymol recommends wearing goggles, a lab coat, a respiratory mask and gloves when handling it because, "The substance is toxic to lungs, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage." There are now certified USDA Organic alternatives to synthetic chemicals such as Thymol. Greenology is the first USDA certified organic cleaning products brand. Their antimicrobial cleansers, GreenShield Organic Surface Wipes, contain no hazardous ingredients, just natural acids (citric, malic, acetic) and soybean oil.
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