As the public becomes increasingly aware of particular poisons in household products, companies are responding with a line-up of substitutes. These alternatives, however, tend to go through just as little safety testing as their predecessors. And today, many are proving equally toxic, if not more so, said Arlene Blum, a University of California, Berkeley chemist and co-author on the study published Wednesday.
“Unknown chemicals that were claimed to be safe and then turned out to be toxic are then banned and replaced by other unknown chemicals that are claimed to be safe and turn out to be toxic — that’s the drill, I think,” said Blum, who points to the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act as a contributor to this problem. The 36-year-old law essentially assumes a chemical is safe until proven guilty.