By Michelle Noehren
I can remember vividly the day that I first realized there are toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. I was in shock and quite frankly quite pissed off. It was (and still is) crazy to me that there is very little regulation of the chemicals used in products we use on our skin & hair, let alone the products we give our children (like toys, bubble bath, play furniture and the like).
Now that I’m helping with the newly branded CT Campaign for Toxic-Free Kids and am doing a bit of their social media, every time I post a link on our Facebook page about a new study that shows yet again that there are toxic chemicals in the majority of products we give our kids, I cringe a little. Most consumers still don’t know this is happening because they, like I once did, just think that if something can be bought on a shelf it must be safe. So I cringe because I feel a bit like I’m bursting a LOT of bubbles.
But we must – we have to educate and inform parents and consumers about the wide spread problem of toxic chemicals in our every day products. That’s why I’m OK bursting some bubbles – the only way we’ll change this is if more & more people learn about the problem and then engage with us to push a solution.
So parents, yes, there are toxic chemicals in that backpack you picked out for your child. Yes, there are probably toxic chemicals in that cute school lunch box your child excitedly picked from the store shelf. And yes, it’s likely that many of the toys you have in your home contain toxic chemicals too.
While all of that is sadly (and outrageously) true, what’s also true is that as parents, we have power. In Connecticut we’re working on a bill that would require our Department of Public Health to create a list of chemicals of concern to children and to then report to the legislature every 2 years with recommendations about what to do (banning, labeling etc.) Many other states will be introducing similar legislation so take it upon yourself to hit up Google to find out what’s going on near you. And if nothing is going on near you, you have the power to change that.
Let’s all work together to get to a place where parents really can assume that products on a shelf are safe. Not only do we as consumers deserve better, but our children deserve better too. I dream of a day when our kids can finally be toxic-free.