Healthy Stuff is a project of the Ecology Center. Healthy Stuff tests everyday household items for toxic chemicals and reports on its findings. 

Healthy Stuff 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 The law that's supposed to do this, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is outdated, according to the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).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

News  |  February 27, 2018
We called on Michigan-based Meijer and TJX-Companies (TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Sierra Trading Post) to stop using toxic receipt paper coated in BPA and BPS in their stores. Unfortunately they have failed to take action to protect their cashiers & customers.
Press Release  |  January 29, 2018
The Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff program released a new report, More Than You Bargained For: BPS and BPA in Receipts, in which over 200 paper receipts from 150 businesses were tested for known endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
News  |  November 28, 2017
Retailers remain on the frontlines of consumer discontent with the chemical safety of the products they buy and sell. In its second annual report card on safer chemicals in consumer products, the Mind the Store Campaign found that...
News  |  October 26, 2017
The Healthy Stuff team has been working on researching phthalates (THAL-eights), a plasticizer and solvent. We found that almost all the cheese products we tested were contaminated with phthalates, a hormone disruptor.
Press Release  |  September 28, 2017
The Ecology Center, in partnership with the Car Seat Detox Challenge Campaign and the Learning Disabilities Association of America, delivered over 40,000 signatures to Laurel Hurd, President of Graco Children’s Products and CEO of Global Baby Division at Newell Brands, calling...
News  |  July 25, 2017
Recent findings released by the Ecology Center, however, reveal that the dry powdered cheese mixes in those boxes have on average four times the amount of phthalates (thal-eights) than block cheese and other unprocessed cheeses.
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.