Rarely do I compliment doctors but the recent action by the American Academy of Pediatricians merits a definite "thumbs up." The group has condemned a 1976 federal law that stupidly relies on chemical companies to raise concerns about their products. (When was the last time you saw a company voluntarily raise safety concerns about its own products?) Unlike prescription drugs which must pass safety review the Toxic Substance Control Act limits the government from ordering testing or banning industrial chemicals.
Pediatricians have finally opened their eyes to the health problems being caused by the ever-expanding world of toxic chemicals. Because children are smaller and still developing they're especially at risk to toxic chemicals. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits it knows very little about the thousands of chemicals being produced each year.
As more and more chemicals are created no one knows how they're going to interact with the thousands of chemicals already in our environment today, or how we're going to react to this growing toxic mix. It's time to put at least some minimum oversight on this problem before it's too late.