Target: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Goal: Tell the FDA that more precise labeling of consumer products is needed in order to protect unsuspecting consumers.
A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows the glaring inadequacies of labeling in our country. It points out that toxic chemicals are laced into many household products, and unknowing consumers are being left to suffer the consequences. Some of these toxins are completely unknown to consumers, and even if they could pronounce the names, customers are not the least bit aware of the threat they pose. The FDA needs to step in and establish a more complete system of labeling to effectively tell consumers exactly what they are taking into their homes and bodies.
The study focused on a variety of 213 different consumer products, representing 50 kinds of goods—ranging from perfumes to sunscreens and shampoos. The researchers identified 55 toxic compounds—unfortunately for the consumer, this indicates a wide range of possible sources for toxic exposure, from a variety of different products. Specifically, the highest concentrations of toxic compounds were found in fragranced products like perfumes, air fresheners, and dryer sheets. Disturbingly, the study found that “many detected chemicals were not listed on labels.” The study concluded that many more widely discussed chemicals—like BPA and synthetic fragrances—can be avoided “using purchasing criteria,” while “more complete labeling would enable consumers to avoid the rest.”
“The study shows that we are exposed to a complex mixture of toxic chemicals simply by going through our normal routines,” said Andy Igrejas, head of the advocacy group, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Like an article in Mother Jones points out, with better labeling, consumers would know that shampoo containing diethanolamine has been linked to nose, throat, and skin irritation. Or, to avoid products with decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5)—a chemical found both in cleaning products and baby shampoo—because the compound is a potential carcinogen and can harm the nervous system, fatty tissue, liver and immune system.
Please sign below to express your concern to the FDA. Consumers deserve to know exactly what they are buying.
Dear Food and Drug Administration,
Labeling is important because it is the only way consumers know what ingredients, and potential toxins, they might be exposing themselves, and their loved ones, to.
So, to allow labeling that is obscure or incomplete raises serious questions.
Unfortunately for all of us, a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that the labeling of consumer products is dangerously insufficient. After testing 213 different commercial products of 50 different product categories, 55 toxic chemical compounds were found and identified. For the consumer, this means that the possibility of toxic exposure can come from a wide range of products.
More than anything, the study highlights the need for more complete labeling. Consumers need to be aware of what they are buying. That is only fair. Please consider a more responsible labeling system that calls out potential toxins and harmful chemicals in commercial products.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NC State Archives via Flickr