New Report: High Costs to Health Care from Chemical Exposures

Julie Silas | January 21, 2010 | Newsletter

Today, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families www.saferchemicals.org campaign released a new report, "Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act," that shows the high costs to our health care system associated with chemical exposure.

Pharos Project subscribers need to read this report. It provides a sobering realization that there is a great deal of peer-reviewed scientific evidence linking chemicals in building products to a number of chronic diseases and illnesses. It is timely as well. Congress is set to begin considering a reform of the more-than-three-decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in an effort to align our chemical policy with 21st century science. It will not be an easy task.

The chemicals highlighted in the report, such as phthalates and formaldehyde, are chemicals used in building products that have been on the radar of scientists for a long time, yet our current regulatory system continues to allow them on the market -- and the building industry continues to spend millions of dollars to produce and use them.

Drawing only from peer-reviewed scientific journals, the report reviews the state of the science for a number of chronic diseases including: certain forms of cancer, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, reduced reproductive health in both men and women, and asthma. The report demonstrates how Americans could improve their health and save money on health care costs by reducing exposures to toxic chemicals.

TSCA reform will take time. However, Pharos subscribers can immediately begin to use the Chemical and Material Library and Building Product Library to access data and determine if any of the reported chemicals are in the products that architects, designers and other building professionals specify daily.