About

about HealthyStuff.org

HealthyStuff.org is based on research conducted by environmental health organizations and other researchers around the country. The Ecology Center created HealthyStuff.org and leads its research and development. The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.

The U.S. government doesn't require full testing of chemicals before they are added to most consumer products. And once they are on the market, the government almost never restricts their use, even in the face of new scientific evidence suggesting a health threat. Because children, adults and pets can be exposed to chemicals from many sources, and because the effects of some chemicals are cumulative, it is important to look at the whole picture concerning chemicals and health. The law that's supposed to do this, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is outdated, according to the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In 2005, the GAO found:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has limited data on existing chemicals including toxicity and exposure information;
  • EPA lacks data to ensure that potential health and environmental risks of new chemicals are identified;
  • Chemical companies are not required to develop and submit toxicity information to EPA unless EPA issues a rule;
  • EPA has used its authority to require testing for fewer than 200 of the 62,000 chemicals in commerce since 1979;
  • For "new" chemicals, EPA estimates that only about 15 percent include health or safety test data; and
  • For existing chemicals, only 5 chemical groups out of 62,000 have been restricted by EPA in 29 years.

For more information on the lack of government regulation of toxic chemicals in products, please see the following reports:

"Chemical Regulation: Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review Program," U.S. General Accountability Office, June 13, 2005.

"Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California," Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, 2008.

"Green Chemistry in California: A Framework for Leadership in Chemicals Policy and Innovation," California Policy Research Center, 2006.

News

January 30, 2017
News
The FDA says the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to antibacterial soaps. A new rule goes into effect this September. Find out what their concerns are and what to do in the meantime.
October 25, 2016
News
While the Ecology Center has been working to end childhood lead exposure in Michigan for years, this National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week we joined a coalition of over fifty groups calling for federal agencies to act boldly to eradicate lead exposure on a national scale.
September 28, 2016
News
Coal tar sealants cover a vast majority of driveways, parking lots and playgrounds. They are meant to extend the life of the asphalt underneath. Unfortunately, these sealants contain a hazardous chemical that is a known carcinogen.
May 24, 2016
News
What about the many other toxic chemicals we hear about every day entering our bodies from our environment? Medical associations and researchers agree: the benefits of breastfeeding are so vitally important that they outweigh potential risks from environmental toxics.
April 19, 2016
News
Participate in our upcoming study looking for toxic chemicals hiding in our pet's food packaging.
March 28, 2016
News
Decorations, costumes, accessories, toys, school supplies, kitchen items, garden tools, apparel, floor tiles, and more, the Ecology Center sampled more than 1,500 of these products for a recently published, peer-reviewed study and uncovered startling results.
IMPORTANT NOTE: HealthyStuff.org ratings do not provide a measure of health risk or chemical exposure associated with any individual product, or any individual element or related chemical.

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