The Environmental Working Group (EWG) sent out an email today encouraging active participation in lobbying our elected officials to support the Lautenberg Bill. According to a Washington Post article, the bill "would require manufacturers to prove the safety of chemicals before they enter the marketplace."
Incredibly, manufacturers currently ARE NOT REQUIRED to submit health and safety data to the EPA for the 84,000 chemicals now in use. The Lautenberg Bill would mandate that chemical manufacturers make this health information available to the EPA. Then the EPA does their review to determine whether the chemicals are safe enough to remain on the market.
Currently, the government has little or no information about the risks of most chemicals in use. The Washington Post article mentions that the government cannot act unless a chemical poses a health threat, but the EPA cannot force companies to provide the data needed that reveals the risks. So, in other words little action can be taken until the damage is done!
It's easy to become cynical about this situation and to feel powerless. I'm trying to eat more fruits and veggies, but by doing so I may be increasing my pesticide consumption! It's so frustrating. What's a health conscious person to do? Well, in addition to lobbying our elected officials to consider this bill, we can take some steps to protect ourselves. One step is knowing which foods are most effected by the use of chemical pesticides. Check out the link to EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides. Just click on the title of this post. It's a quick reference guide that shows the "Clean 15" and the "Dirty Dozen."
Armed with this knowledge, my next smoothie will have a few less unwanted chemicals in it!