I am pleased to announce that have been invited to become a Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families blogger! I even have a badge now. Look for it on the right side of my website. Do not worry – I will still ”read labels for you dot com” and share my findings, but now I will have even more material and access to experts in different industries to help me bring you even more helpful information.
While researching baby cribs (not an easy topic I have to tell you), I came across this organization — Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Knowing that organizations like this exist gives me hope for a better, safer future. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is a coalition of over 450 organizations and millions of individuals who are concerned about toxic chemicals in the products we use every day and the environment in which we live. The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition is working to repair laws that are supposed to protect us from toxic chemical exposure and to fund green chemistry better.
Before I delved into the matter, I assumed that products sold to consumers are tested for safety. And I assumed the U.S. government would never allow carcinogenic chemicals in baby products. I was appalled to learn that this is not true.
Many products on store shelves have not gone through pre-market testing and approval to make sure they are safe. In formulating cosmetic products, the FDA says that a manufacturer can use any ingredient (except for 11 prohibited ones; the EU prohibits 1,328) – as long it is safe. But who determines what is “safe?” The cosmetic manufacturers are responsible for policing the safety of their own products. The FDA has no authority to require companies to test cosmetic products for safety, nor can it order companies to recall unsafe products. At best, a manufacturer is required to disclose ingredients that go into a product. It is up to consumers to understand what those ingredients are. But not all consumers have the time and energy to decipher all those unpronounceable ingredients on every product they buy.
I still remember the time when I had swollen, red, itchy eyes for 2 weeks – an allergic reaction to a face cream. That was before I memorized about 100 toxins in consumer products, and when I simply trusted that there can’t be anything dangerous in a cream. I applied it and next thing I knew I was at the doctor’s office. The doctor looked at the list of cream ingredients online and said that ursodeoxycholic acid of that concentration should not be sold over-the-counter. When I came back home and looked up the reviews of that cream on Amazon, I saw that a lot of reviewers talked about severe allergic reaction. Despite that, the cream was still for sale, and probably remains so today.
For this reason, I am glad that the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition has been working hard to improve consumer protection laws. I am part of the coalition now and you can be too. There is so much work to be done. It is simple to join at http://www.saferchemicals.org/join/get_involved.html. I encourage you to take action by letting others know about Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.