Pediatricians Want Children More Protected from Chemical Exposure Risks
The nation’s chemical management policy needs to be overhauled to better protect children and pregnant women from toxic exposure, according to an organization representing the country’s pediatricians.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement on April 25, saying that the country has failed to protect children from hazardous chemicals and needs to rethink how it classifies, tests and restricts the use of chemicals.
A review of U.S. chemical policy is long overdue, according to the AAP, as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has not “undergone any meaningful revision” since it was originally enacted in 1976.
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In the May 2011 issue of Pediatrics, the AAP lays out recommended changes to chemical policy that the organization believes would better protect the young from hazardous chemicals. Overall, the AAP wants a policy that includes consideration for the side effects of chemicals on children and their families.
Some of the recommendations include making all chemicals meet similar safety standards as those of pharmaceutical or pesticide companies; granting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to issue a chemical recall for hazardous substances and to conduct post-marketing surveillance of chemicals; testing chemicals for their impact on women and children, as well as their impact on reproduction and development; basing decisions to conduct chemical recalls or bans on reasonable levels of concern, as opposed to demonstrated harm. The AAP also called for increased federal funding for the prevention, identification and evaluation of the side effects of chemicals on children’s health.
According to the AAP, since the 1976 passage of TSCA, the EPA has only tested 200 chemicals out of the 80,000 on the market and has banned or otherwise regulated eight of them.
RihanaApril 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm
The potential for chemical reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill should mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods. We need to ensure that chemical testing is in line with the 21st century and relies on moder[Show More]The potential for chemical reform is quite exciting, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice millions of animals (for toxicity testing) in the name of better protection for human health and the environment. The revised bill should mandate and create market incentives to use nonanimal methods. We need to ensure that chemical testing is in line with the 21st century and relies on modern, human cell and computer-based methods that provide accurate data on how a chemical acts and what the impact on human health may be.
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