Big bad hormone disruptors: think that the Toxic Substances Control Act protects us? Think again people, we are on our own here!

Well I guess we who are hip to hormones, the good and the bad among them, are well aware that many of the chemicals in our shampoos, detergents, household cleaners, gardening, and personal care products can be bad for our health and the hormones that govern it. That BPA, RBST, Pthalates, Dioxins, etc., found in these everyday products act as hormone imposters, burrow deep into body cells and wreak havoc on normal hormone operating systems either by mimicking, blocking, or overstimulating the receptor sites where naturally-occurring hormones do their thing….sure, we know better than to use products with chemical names we can’t pronounce on the label….but, somehow I always assumed that we could rely on regulatory bodies that oversee the chemical industry to ensure that these chemicals are at least tested and proved to be safe – safe enough not to kill us or make us sick. I assumed wrong. Because unlike pharmaceuticals or pesticides, industrial chemicals evidently do NOT have to be tested before they are put on the market. Can you believe that?! Man on park bench reading with two dogsIt seems that chemical manufacturers are rarely required under the law to provide the necessary information to assess their products' safety. And to add insult to injury, the main law we've got that attempts to monitor safety, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), apparently needs fixing – big time. whatsawomanApparently, the TSCA is the only major environmental statute that has not had a re-authorization or updating of its fundamental provisions since it was adopted in the 1970s. To provide some comfort in this disturbing scenario, companies manufacturing or importing new chemicals are supposed to alert the EPA before they do so, but then it is the EPAs job to determine whether a new chemical poses risks…but because companies are not required to provide any safety data on these new chemicals the EPA has to request the data IF that is, it can show a potential risk. Talk about the classic catch-22 – if the EPA can't even require testing to determine risk without first showing that a risk is likely, how on earth can it protect us – on Earth Day, Arbor Day, or any other day for that matter…
So it becomes all the more important for us hip to hormone followers to keep up the pressure for updated federal rules on chemical safety….to INSIST that they tell us more about the chemicals to which we are exposed daily, like the bisphenol A (BPA) in the lining of canned foods and hard plastics, the pthalates in shower curtains and the soft toys that babies just love to knaw on, the growth hormones the cattle industry uses to make cattle fat faster (and those who would eat it), the hazardous chemicals that have become so rife in our environment that a nursing mother finds flame retardant in her breast milk AND scientists talk of babies born "prepolluted" with hundreds of measurable toxins in their blood. If the current presumption is that chemicals are safe until proven dangerous I would like to suggest that we protect ourselves by assuming that if it hasn’t been proven safe, it’s not good enough for us to eat, drink, breathe in or put on our bodies….

Balance is beautiful and fragile.

Balance is attainable.

According to a recent news analysis on this topic in the NY Sunday Times last month, the regulators, doctors and chemical producers who agree that the Toxic Substances Control Act needs a makeover cannot agree on who should have to prove a chemical is safe! Sounds like a serious lack of accountability to those of us who would be made sick, obese, diabetic, cancer-ridden, heart damaged, disabled, or dead before our time due to an unwitting exposure to unregulated, untested toxins unnatural to our bodies and our planet.
As we celebrated earth day last week, we might have been reminded that earth day is every day of course, and that our planet needs to be in balance for us to be in balance. It is all we have and we are not in this alone. This is one battle each of us needs to pick.



Filed under Women's Health & Happiness

2 responses to “Big bad hormone disruptors: think that the Toxic Substances Control Act protects us? Think again people, we are on our own here!

  1. Thanks Candace for shining the light on such an important topic! There are so many things in our lives that we cannot control in our global environment, so it is imperative that we focus on the things we can: what and how we eat, our exercise and movement patterns, and all the products which we use in our daily lives. We VOTE everyday with the choices that we make in terms of : WHERE we shop, WHAT we buy, WHAT COMPANIES we support: how and what we consume is a powerful reflection of our core values. Sometimes it is all too easy to ‘shop the sales, use the coupons’, frequent the big box stores, in an attempt to stretch our dollars. But in the long run, we do get what we pay for….and by buying ‘cleaner products’, we are not only supporting the companies that make these products, we are voting for a higher quality of life for ourselves, the generations to follow and for Mother Earth.

  2. candacebwell

    Amen to all the above…you filled in the part I left out…about making the right choices ..that’s the real call to action…don’t wait for the so called regulatory bodies to tell us whats in the products that go in or on our bodies…we have to find out for ourselves…thanks Kyle.

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