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 The law that's supposed to do this, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is outdated, according to the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).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

Press Release  |  July 25, 2019
An alarming new report finds that disposable PVC food-handling gloves used in restaurants nationwide may contain toxic plasticizer chemicals called ortho-phthalates (THAL-eights) that leach into the food we eat.
Press Release  |  July 10, 2019
July 11, 2019—Today, Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff program released its first-ever company ranking survey in the new report, Children’s Car Seat Chemical Policy Report Card 2019. The study surveyed 12 leading car seat companies on their corporate chemical policies & practices.
Press Release  |  May 6, 2019
New test results show elevated lead in rubber shred at playground in Washington, D.C.
News  |  February 14, 2019
“PFAS” is a clunky acronym for a slick set of chemicals– brilliant at repelling water and oil on cookware and furniture, yet spread easily through groundwater. They cling to proteins in our blood yet slip through traditional water filters. We need to rid our world of them.
News  |  December 17, 2018
See how your favorite stores are doing, and let them know what you think with just one click
News  |  December 3, 2018
Most children’s car seats, a legally required kids’ safety product, contain hazardous chemicals used as flame retardants and stain treatments. On December 3, the Ecology Center released its report Hidden Hazards: Flame Retardants & PFAS in Children's Car Seats.
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.