22 years too late: Will the EPA finally crack down on toxic chemicals in toys?
(NaturalHealth365) Your home should be a safe haven for you and your children. Yet, toxic chemicals are everywhere – even within our homes. Not even children’s toys are safe.
A recent report reveals that the EPA is now proposing to add a group of common plastic additives commonly used in household items, such as toys, to its list of potentially harmful chemicals.
Group of plastic additives may be added to EPA’s toxic chemicals list
In August 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed adding the class of diisononyl phthalates (DINP) to its list of toxic chemicals. But this isn’t the first time the safety of these chemicals has been questioned. The petition to include DINP on the toxic chemicals list originated 22 years ago, in 2000, placed by the Washington Toxics Coalition. Unfortunately, it has taken until now for the EPA to move forward.
If the rule takes effect, DINP will be subject to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) requirements for reporting. This would mean facilities that process or manufacture over 25,000 pounds of these chemicals in a year, or use over 10,000 pounds of them, must report information to the TRI. The rule may allow greater public access to information about these toxic chemicals, giving people a better chance of protecting themselves. And since the EPA seems to be starting to list toxic chemicals by class, manufacturers may have a harder time swapping out one harmful chemical for another.
How plastic additives could be harmful to your health
So what makes DINP – and other plastic additives – so pernicious? In short, they’re detrimental to human health and to the environment. Chemicals in the DINP class are suspected carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority has already declared them endocrine-disrupting compounds, stating that DINP chemicals interfere with hormonal function.
Additionally, DINP chemicals may be associated with negative developmental effects and liver and kidney toxicity. Given these concerning risks, it comes as no surprise that the chemicals could be placed on a list of toxic chemicals.
What’s more alarming is the prevalence of plastic additives like DINP. Other phthalates, bisphenols, and endocrine-disrupting compounds are in everyday products. They’re commonly used in the manufacture of everything from toys to flooring to fabrics. BPA is one well-known example of a harmful plastic additive. Manufacturers like to use plastic additives because they can make products softer or more flexible. The question is, at what cost? Plastic additive chemicals come with the potential for irreversible and chronic health effects.
How to minimize exposure to toxic chemicals at home
So how can you lessen your potential exposure to plastic additives and other toxic chemicals? For one, look for products that are made with all-natural or plant-based ingredients. Avoid products with extensive lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
You may even opt for toys made of wood or other natural materials over plastics. Choose organic food and even clothing, when possible. You may not be able to completely eliminate plastic additives from your life, but you can take steps to minimize them.
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