Chemical law fails to protect kids’ health: MDs

Posted by erauch, August 6, 2011

Children and pregnant women aren’t being protected from exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals, say pediatricians calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy.

Monday’s policy paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics says a U.S. law dating back to 1976 limits the government from intervening to yank dangerous industrial chemicals from the market. The group wants the chemical-management policy to be “substantially revised” to consider consequences on children and their families

The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) “is widely recognized to have been ineffective in protecting children, pregnant women and the general population from hazardous chemicals in the marketplace,” Dr. Jerome Paulson of the academy’s Council on Environmental Health and his co-authors wrote.

“It does not take into account the special vulnerabilities of children in attempting to protect the population from chemical hazards.”

The authors say manufacturers must be responsible for developing information about how chemicals may affect reproduction and development before they’re allowed to be sold.