So far in this campaign, we’ve covered the big problems with conventional store-bought cleaners, how to make your own effective, inexpensive, people-friendly and earth-friendly cleaners and how to cut through the greenwashing of store-bought cleaning products.
Now let’s get to the bottom of the problem: Lax government regulation of hazardous chemicals in cleaning products and beyond.
Did you know that in the last 50 years, more than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced to products sold in the U.S., but only about 200 have been required to get tested for safety? (Baffling, isn’t it?!) As the Environmental Defense Fund explains, it’s all due to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), America's main law governing chemical safety, which requires the government prove chemicals are harmful instead of requiring manufacturers to prove they're safe. (Learn more about it under #2 below.) As a result, virtually every American is exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals every day.
It’s time for us to speak out against anything-goes chemical regulations, self-policing corporations and consumers having a huge burden of responsibility just to keep themselves safe. Here’s how to do it.
3 Quick and Easy Ways to Take Action
From the Campaign for safe cosmetics:
1) Tell the EPA to Get Triclosan, a Pesticide, Out of Household Cleaners, Cosmetics, and Toys
Triclosan, an anti-bacterial chemical categorized as a pesticide by the EPA, can be found in more than 75% of “anti-bacterial” liquid hand soaps sold in the U.S., yet it is no more effective than regular soap! Researchers have found triclosan in the majority of Americans, including pregnant women. The chemical can have adverse effects on fetal growth and development, can lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and can harm aquatic life.
A petition to ban triclosan for non-medical uses (like in cleaners, cosmetics, toys and cutting boards) has gone to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Make your voice heard: The EPA is only taking public comments through April 8, 2011. Submit your thoughts in support of a triclosan ban right now! It will only take about a minute.
You can also Pledge to go Triclosan-Free and share this news with your friends and family.
2) Send a letter to Congress to Support and Strengthen the Safe Chemicals Act
Women’s Voices for the Earth and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families have joined forces to encourage an overhaul of the failed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by supporting the newest piece of legislation on the subject, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010.
Learn more and send your letter!
From Women’s Voices for the Earth:
3) Tell the Largest U.S. Cleaning Product Companies to Replace their Toxic Ingredients with Safe Ones
By signing this petition, you’ll be sending a message to Procter & Gamble, Clorox Company, Reckitt-Benckiser (Lysol, Easy Off, and more), and Sunshine Makers, Inc. (Simple Green) – as well as the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), insisting that they disclose all ingredients in their cleaning products and replace harmful ingredients with safe ones.
Sign the petition. It’s quick and easy!
Check out even more ways to take action via Women's Voices for the Earth.
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Thank you for taking action with us!