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 The law that's supposed to do this, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is outdated, according to the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).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

Image of black nonstick fry pan
Press Release  |  October 6, 2021
A new study by the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff Lab, “Still Cooking: An Update on Toxic PFAS in Cookware Products,” found some cookware manufacturers still use PFAS coatings on their nonstick products, despite claims that their pans are free from certain PFAS chemicals.
News  |  August 5, 2021
More than 650 towns contaminated. Millions of Americans affected. No Defense is the story of the military’s war on water. Register here to watch the film.
Capped with Toxics
Press Release  |  July 13, 2021
A new report by the Toxic Free Food Campaign in partnership with Ecology Center Healthy Stuff Lab titled “Capped With Toxics” found toxic chemicals called ortho-phthalates in more than one-third of the 141 beverage brands tested. Market leaders are switching to safer bottle caps,
News  |  May 28, 2021
Ecology Center found PFAS in all tested fertilizer and compost products. Check these products labels to find out the source of the materials. Ingredients listed as “biosolids” and “residuals” are code words for sewage sludge.
Press Release  |  May 25, 2021
Many home gardeners buy compost or commercial soil amendments to enhance soil nutrition. But new tests reveal concerning levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in fertilizer products which are commonly made from sewage sludge.
Press Release  |  March 30, 2021
The latest annual report card scoring retailer actions on toxic chemicals is out. About 2/3 of the companies have made progress over the last year.
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.