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There are more than 80,000 synthetic, human-made chemicals on the market. Yet, the Environmental Protection Agency has required safety testing on only 200 of them. Seventh Generation talks about toxins in the home with Dr. Alan Greene, practicing pediatrician and renowned authority on family health issues.
Q: Why should we worry about chemicals in our homes?
A: Many of the biggest health concerns for our children are on the rise, including asthma, allergies and ADHD. All of these conditions are linked to environmental exposures. Young kids are much more susceptible to environmental toxins than adults.
Q: Why does the EPA test so few chemicals?
A: Under current laws, which were passed in 1976, some 60,000 chemicals were grandfathered in as "safe," without any testing. In the three decades since, the EPA has had a difficult time regulating the new chemicals that came into the market.
Q: Is anyone calling for new legislation?
A: Yes! Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Barbara Boxer and Representatives Hilda Solis and Henry Waxman have a reform plan -- The Kid-Safe Chemicals Act.
Q: What can parents do to support this act?
A: You can visit 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. They have an easy way for you to email your Congresspeople and urge them to support the new legislation.
Q: How can I make my home safer for my family?
A: When you're making decisions about the products you use, cast a knowledgeable eye from the ground up. Think about the carpet and the pad underneath, the paint on your walls, the cleansers you use throughout the home -- even the personal care products you use on your body. Try to use products made with natural ingredients, and look for natural products that disclose all their ingredients. Seventh Generation is a brand I highly recommend. The choices you make today are opportunities that could give your kids a better chance for the best health throughout their lives.