Toxic chemicals found in consumer products are increasingly found in childrens bodies.
Five pairs of Disney pyjamas and one "Bob the Builder" set were
found to contain chemicals thought to interfere with human DNA and
affect sperm production in mammals. All garments were found also to
contain toxic chemicals that are banned from teething toys under
emergency EU legislation because they can cause liver, kidney and
testicular damage. The highest levels of these chemicals were found
in Disney "Tigger" pyjamas.
Tests on a wide range of consumer products revealed toxic
chemicals in a variety of products such as baby bottles, perfumes
and cleaning products.
The findings come a week before the European Commission will
present new legislation to Parliament that aims to bring greater
protection to consumers from the uncontrolled use of chemicals.
Heavy lobby pressure from the chemical industry has significantly
weakened the legislation already, resulting in loopholes that mean
the kind of chemicals found in the study - may be unaffected by the
To find out more about these chemicals, their effects on the
body and where in the home you can find them check out the chemical home
website. If you are from the UK
you can DO something about these chemicals here or everyone can
directly lobby the
European Commissioners to demand strong legislation before Oct
Our campaigner Mark Strutt said, "On behalf of every parent, we
are pushing for a new law on chemicals will make sure that
hazardous chemicals that get into children's bodies are phased out
and replaced with safer substitutes".
He added, "Replacing these chemicals with safer alternatives
will benefit everybody. It's time for the chemical industry to stop
polluting children's bodies."
Industry claims that protecting our health and the environment
is too expensive and has been using scare tactics over costs and
jobs to argue against these new rules. However an independent
assessment published recently shows that cleaning up will cost only
E2.3 billion or 0.05 percent of the European chemicals industries'
annual turnover. On the other hand a recent study estimates
benefits of the new legislation at up to E283 billion.
"The costs are peanuts for the chemicals sector," says John
Hontelez, of the European Environmental Bureau. "As well as
confirming our own estimates, the impact assessment highlights the
irresponsibility of those industry representatives and politicians
who have tried to kill the reform in recent weeks and months."
The new legislation must mandate that toxic chemicals not be
approved where safer alternatives exist. This would help ensure
that products in our homes do not contain hidden poisons that end
up in our bodies. If the EU acts now and implements strong laws,
other areas of the world will follow. If not, a dangerous global
experiment on you and me will remain unchecked.
You can help win the fight against dangerous chemicals. Here's
three things you can do:
1. Use your consumer power to vote for
green products, and against dangerous chemicals.
Look at our chemical products and don't buy the ones on the red
list. Shop wisely by buying the products on the green list instead.
This is simple yet very effective: every time you buy a product,
you vote for that product. If you know Fairy liquid contains toxic
chemicals and Ecover doesn't, you will always choose Ecover. The
more people that do this, the more quickly manufacturers will be
forced into action.
2. Take action! Please visit our chemicalreaction.org
website to lobby individual members of the EU while they discuss
the control of toxic chemicals in the EU. Also in
3. Return to sender!
Got any products on our red list? Think you would be better off
without them? Send your toxic products, or the empty packaging to
Patricia Hewitt, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. She
is determined to wreck new legislation designed to protect human
health and the environment from the chemical pollution. She
complains that it will be too expensive and if chemical companies
are forced to test their products for safety before they sell them
they will move abroad. She has not said anything about protection
of health and the environment.
Follow these easy steps to return you toxic products:
4. Spread the word
- Find toxic products on our 'red' list that you have in your house, such
as shampoo or children's toys
- Print out this letter and sign it, or better still write
your own letter.
- Package up the product or wrapper put it in an envelope or wrap
it in (recycled!) paper, along with the letter
- Print out this address label and stick it to the
- Put it in the post
Tell your friends about the Chemical Home
website, so that they can arm themselves with information too.
5. Join Greenpeace