Everyday Chemical Hazards

What we don’t know about tens of thousands of chemicals could harm us

In the past century, more than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our products, homes and communities, ending up in our water, air and our bodies. Yet the U.S. law regulating these chemicals—the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—fails to ensure that our health is protected. 98% of more than 80,000 chemicals lack basic health and safety data. What’s more, untested chemicals and those known to be toxic are used in everyday products, even those made for children. In 35 years, TSCA has banned or restricted only five chemicals. Science and medical experts struggle to understand when, how and in what combinations we are exposed to chemicals linked to breast cancer, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, autism and other chronic diseases.