According to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology, thousands of consumer products contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems. The Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States performed an analysis of the reports and found that several major companies that manufacture consumer products are using a total of 41 chemicals identified by Ecology as a concern for human health. Some of these problematic chemicals include toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and antimony, plus compounds such as phthalates. The report notes that the toxic products include items such as apparel and footwear, personal care products, and even baby products.

The silver lining is, now companies must submit chemical reports due to policies under Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008. Thanks to the Act, companies in Washington have to admit when they use toxic chemicals in their products. The bad news is that the rest of the USA is not so lucky, as Washington State is the first state to implement such a comprehensive chemical reporting program. That said, Washington should serve as a model example for other states. Additionally, although companies must now report their chemical use in Washington, it’s obviously not ensuring that they cut back on chemicals, especially when you consider that this new report shows that thousands of consumer products currently contain toxic chemicals. This seriously underscores the need for greater transparency and stronger regulations to protect consumers.

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