How about your shampoo? How about your canned foods, any of them, whether organic contents or not? How about your couch or your kids' nice flannel jammies? Is that nice cup of tea you are drinking really made mostly of pesticide laden grass clippings? Is your spice collection full of fraudulent fillers that may be really bad for you? Is your cumin really bulked with ground dung powder? Is your olive oil really made from corn? Is your corn oil really made of swill waste? How would you know?
The answers to these questions may quite possibly be yes. Keep scrolling to find out how to determine whether you and your family are being exposed to toxic chemicals and fraudulent foods. Also find out what is being done about it, what you can do about it.
The Problem: Toxic Chemicals Commonly Used in the Home Poisoning Humans and the Environment
The five chemicals or groups of chemicals currently of greatest concern are Bisphenol A (BPA), Nonylphenols, PFCs, Flame retardants, including PBDE, and Phthalates. These chemicals can be found in everyday items we use in our homes such as, shampoo, laundry detergent, clothing, furniture, canned foods, plastic bottles and containers, household cleaners, non-stick cookware. Many of these chemicals are either in or in contact with things we ingest or in contact with our skin. Ingestion and Skin absorption are two primary pathways for toxic exposures.
Here is some more detail on the particular chemical groups from the McClatchy article, We're in contact with uncontrolled chemicals
THE EPA'S MOST WORRISOME TOXINSAnother Problem: Fraudulent and/or unsafe foods
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Uses: It hardens clear "polycarbonate" plastics, which are used in compact discs, plastic dinnerware, eyeglass lenses, toys, beverage bottles, and impact-resistant safety equipment. Also used in the linings of food cans, in dental sealants, and on cash register receipts.
Health concerns: BPA is considered estrogenic and has been shown to affect the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. BPA also has been linked to many other disorders. Potential harm is considered highest for young children ...
Nonylphenols, including nonylphenol ethoxylates
Uses: Laundry detergents, shampoos, household cleaners, latex paints.
Health concerns: NPs have been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine, and are associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents. Fish exposed to low levels can become feminized.
PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals)
Uses: Widely used water, grease, and stain repellents. Contained in the coatings of nonstick cookware. Used to greaseproof paper and cardboard food packaging. Added to carpeting and clothing for stain protection.
Health concerns: They are bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans, and are persistent in the environment. They are toxic to laboratory animals and wildlife.
Flame retardants, including PBDE
Uses: To prevent the spread of fire, many versions of these chemicals are added to upholstered furniture and mattresses - including many products for babies - plus textiles, plastics, electronics, wire insulation.
Health concerns: PBDEs are not chemically bound to plastics or other products in which they are used, making them more likely to leach out. "Certain PBDEs are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment," ...
Uses: They make plastics more malleable, and are found in vinyl shower curtains, toys, vinyl flooring. They help lotions penetrate skin, so they are found in a wide variety of personal care products, including cosmetics, fragrances, and nail polish. Also found in air-fresheners and cleaning products.
Health concerns: Known to interfere with the production of male reproductive hormones in animals and considered likely to have similar effects in humans. The EPA is concerned about phthalates because of their toxicity and the evidence of pervasive human and environmental exposure to these chemicals. Phthalates have been detected in food and also measured in humans.
Another recent article, Chemicals Most Countries Ban Still Permitted in US Foods, explains that many of our foods are hazardous to us as well, in part due to poor legislation and regulation and in part due to manufacturer fraudulence.
Whereas other international authorities tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to evaluating food additives, in the US new food products "simply need an OK from experts hired by the manufacturers" giving the FDA the option to investigate later "if health issues emerge."Here are some of the tainted products listed in the article.
Though the FDA's mission is purportedly "to protect public health by ensuring that foods are safe and properly labeled," a second examination released Wednesday by the non-profit food watchdog, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), revealed that the amount of food fraud and mislabeled ingredients is up by 60 percent this year.
USP tells ABC News that liquids and ground foods in general are the easiest to tamper with:I wanted to find out more, so I went straight to the Food Fraud Database to look for myself. I looked up some items I use from my spice cabinet and the oils I use in stove top cooking. I also looked up tea since it something I consume everyday. The results from some brief searches basically freak me right out. If my olive oil is most likely made mostly of cheap corn oil, then what is in the corn oil? Swill! Oh, yummy. Of course not every bottle of oil will be contaminated, but how should we know? We’re not about to run analytical tests on everything we eat from home. We’re supposed to be able to trust the manufacturer right? Right?? Or at least the FDA??
Olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils
Lemon juice: cheapened with water and sugar
Tea: diluted with fillers like lawn grass or fern leaves
Spices: like paprika or saffron adulterated with dangerous food colorings that mimic the colors
Milk, honey, coffee and syrup are also listed by the USP as being highly adulterated products.
Also high on the list: seafood. The number one fake being escolar, an oily fish that can cause stomach problems, being mislabeled as white tuna or albacore, frequently found on sushi menus.
Spices Cinnamon Coffee husksAnother Problem: Ineffective and Flawed Legislation
Spices Chillies Brick powder
Spices Coriander powder Dung powder
Spices Oregano Leaves from sumac
Spices Black pepper-ground Ground papaya seeds
Other Tea leaves Colored saw dust
Other Tea (green) Copper salts
Oils Olive oil Corn oil
Oils Corn oil Swill or gutter oil (refined oil from recycled food and livestock waste)
According to this recent article from McClatchy, We're in contact with uncontrolled chemicals, a major problem is the legislation. The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 is outdated and ineffective.
When TSCA was passed, it grandfathered in, "without any evaluation," the 62,000 chemicals in commerce that existed before 1976, Jones said.Here are some of the flaws in the legislation that need remedy.
He noted that in the 34 years since TSCA was passed, the list of chemicals has grown to 84,000, and EPA has been able to require testing on only about 200 of them.
Also, the agency has regulated or banned only five.
* Few data call-ins are issued, even fewer chemicals are required to be tested and no minimum data set is required even for new chemicals.The Solution: New Legislation
* EPA is required to prove harm before it can regulate a chemical
* No mandate exists to assess the safety of existing chemicals. New chemicals undergo a severely time-limited and highly data-constrained review
* No criteria are provided for EPA to use to identify and prioritize chemicals or exposures of greatest concern, leaving such decisions to case-by-case judgments.
* Even chemicals of highest concern, such as asbestos, have not been able to be regulated under TSCA’s “unreasonable risk” cost-benefit standard. Instead, assessments often drag on indefinitely without conclusion or decision.
* Companies are free to claim, often without providing any justification, most information they submit to EPA to be confidential business information (CBI), denying access to the public and even to state and local government. EPA is not required to review such claims, and the claims never expire.
* To require testing or take other actions, EPA must promulgate regulations that take many years and resources to develop. EPA must show potential for a chemical to cause harm in order to require testing, a Catch-22.
Since 2005, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., has worked to change that. In 2010, he introduced the first version of the Safe Chemicals Act, which would require companies "to prove their products are safe before they end up in our home and our children's bodies," he said recently by email.Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, as amended, Section-by-Section
A later version, with 27 co-sponsors, passed out of committee in July. He has vowed to keep fighting for a vote in the full Senate.
Testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found more than 212 industrial chemicals in the bodies of most Americans, including at least six known carcinogens and dozens that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and other adverse health effects. But the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), which governs these chemicals, has not been amended since its adoption more than three decades ago – despite huge changes in chemical production and use and our state of knowledge about how chemicals can harm health and the environment.
* Ensure EPA has information on the health risks of all chemicals.Yet Another Problem: Lobbyists and Weenies in the Senate
* Require EPA to prioritize chemicals based on risk.
* Expedite action to reduce risk from chemicals of highest concern.
* Further evaluate chemicals that could pose unacceptable risk.
* Provide broad public, market and worker access to reliable chemical information.
* Promotes innovation, green chemistry, and safer alternatives to chemicals of concern.
Here is why the Safe Chemicals Act has not yet been passed. You guessed it. Opposition from the Industries that would be regulated and the moneys donated from the Opposition to Senators on both sides of the aisle. Same old shit indeed.
Specific Organizations Opposing S.847What you can do
American Apparel and Footwear Association
American Cleaning Institute
American Coatings Association
American Chemistry Council (ACC)
Adhesive and Sealant Council
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Petroleum Institute
Consumer Specialty Products Association
Edison Electric Institute
Fashion Accessories Shippers Association
Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Industrial Minerals Association - North America
International Diatomite Producers Association
International Fragrance Association North America
International Sleep Products Association
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association for Surface Finishing
National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
National Industrial Sand Association
National Mining Association
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
National Retail Federation
North American Metals Council
Personal Care Products Council
Pine Chemicals Association
Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association
Responsible Industry for Sound Environment
Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates
Specialty Graphic Imaging Association
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
Textile Rental Services Association
The Fertilizer Institute
The Vinyl Institute
Travel Goods Association
Utility Solid Waste Activities Group
American Forest & Paper Association
National Association of Manufacturers
Top recipients for ALL opposing interest groups
Name Amount Received
Sen. Rob Portman [R, OH] $663,333
Sen. Charles E. Schumer [D, NY] $366,000
Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] $327,905
Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO] $301,845
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC] $255,980
Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL] $234,300
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK] $219,350
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY] $194,950
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey [R, PA] $189,140
Sen. Johnny Isakson [R, GA] $185,750
Rep. John A. Boehner [R, OH-8] $235,550
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer [D, MD-5] $218,250
Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7] $198,150
Rep. Joe Barton [R, TX-6] $196,100
Rep. James E. Clyburn [D, SC-6] $175,642
Rep. Dave Camp [R, MI-4] $120,969
Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18] $111,225
Rep. Edward J. Markey [D, MA-5] $101,900
Rep. Charles W. Dent [R, PA-15] $101,550
Rep. Steve Israel [D, NY-3] $101,100
1. Support the same kind of legislation at the state level.
26 States to Consider Toxic Chemicals Legislation in 2013
For more information, Go Here: Safer States
2. Learn about the chemicals in the things you use around the house
Use this database and guide to search the products you use and seek out alternatives that are better for you and the environment. Alternatives aren’t necessarily more expensive. Sometimes they require a bit more elbow grease, but baking soda and vinegar are great safe alternative cleansers. EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning
To find alternative laundry soaps, look here: 7 least toxic laundry detergents
For more very useful information and news releases on this topic Go Here: Environmental Working Group
3. Put pressure on the manufacturers. This tactic seems to be working with Proctor & Gamble. Nothing like a little Agent Orange like chemicals to clean your bedsheets, eh Kossacks?
Proctor & Gamble has agreed to reformulate Tide and other popular laundry detergents to reduce contamination with 1,4 dioxane, defined as a carcinogen by California consumer product safeguards known as Proposition 65. The giant multinational’s action came in response to a lawsuit filed last year by an Oakland-based nonprofit called As You Sow.