American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Stricter Regulation of Chemicals

Posted on May 4, 2011

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging the federal government to overhaul the current regulation of chemicals in the environment because of a concern about toxicity to children. According to an article in Fair Warning, there are about 80,000 chemicals that are used in everything from paints to cleaners and plastics, yet the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 regulates just five chemical classes. A spokesperson from the Natural Resources Defense Council says the EPA couldn’t even ban asbestos with the current outdated law. The AAP issued a new policy statement saying the current “innocent until proven guilty” policy is backwards. Businesses that introduce a new chemical into the environment must notify the Environmental Protection Agency but are not required to conduct safety testing.

Published in the May edition of the AAP journal Pediatrics, the statement encourages manufacturers to be responsible for what they manufacture and market and supports giving the EPA the authority to stop the marketing of a chemical or demand additional safety testing. The AAP is getting involved because of susceptibility of young growing brains and bodies to toxic chemicals. Children whose mothers were exposed to pesticides have been shown to have a lower IQ years later.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., has introduced bills four times to strengthen regulation without success. But in April the Safe Chemical Act of 2011 was introduced by the senator. This time around it is supported by the chemical industry.

AAP joins the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association in calling for additional protections for children and pregnant woman from chemical exposure. The Florida personal injury attorneys at the Farah & Farah law firm applaud the movement to remove and regulate dangerous substances introduced into the environment, particularly those that potentially harm the most vulnerable of our population.

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