Why Are All These Chemicals Allowed?

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Image courtesy of maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Each day I usually get on my computer and read the headlines to decide if the story is worth reading.

It seems like within the past year I have read articles about plastic in bread being served in chain restaurants, flame-retardants in sports drinks and now more recently a study that revealed that anti-bacterial soap has a link to breast cancer.

I don’t understand how hard it is to start regulating these chemicals.  Why doesn’t our country have more stricter requirements for allowing chemicals in our daily food and products.  It seems like things only change when people get sick or die.

Azodicarbonamide was discovered in the bread of many popular chain restaurants.  It is used as a flour bleaching agent but it has been linked to respiratory issues and allergies.  This agent is banned in Europe and Australia so why is it allowed in the United States?  This chemical is also used for the manufacturing of gym mats and yet our sandwiches are made out of it.  Due to the controversy about this chemical, all the restaurants have decided to eliminate azodicarbonamide from its products.

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) was discovered in popular sports and soda drinks by a fifteen year old.  She filed a petition to have the chemical removed which stirred up a lot of controversy.  BVO is banned in Europe and Japan and is characterized as being a flame-retardant for plastics, furniture and children’s clothing.  Since the petition, most of the companies have agreed to phase out the use of BVO in their products.

A recent study declared that Triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent, has been linked to the growth of breast cancer cells.  Triclosan is found in many commonly used household products such as soaps and toothpaste.   There have been no changes for manufacturers to remove Triclosan from their products.  It is up to you, the consumer to make an educated choice on the products you use.

Even though we have the Envioronmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is supposed to look out for the consumer, it seems like its the consumer that is the one finding the dangers in our food and household products.  Keep reading labels and do your research to find out what exactly your consuming and using in your homes.

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