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Safe Chemicals Act of 2011—protecting families!

July 11, 2011

Back in April, a group of senators got the gumption to go public with the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, an ambitious attempt to overhaul the 35-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). You see, since the mid-1970s, more than 20,000 NEW chemicals have been added to the chemical registry maintained by the EPA, but only about 150 of the total 86,000 (and counting) chemicals have been studied for their long-term effects on the health of humans and the health of our natural environment.

Safer Chemicals Act of 2011 Introduced April 14, 2011

Whew! That was a lot to take in in one paragraph, wasn’t it! Even though we’ve known this for years…and shouted about the need for better understanding and research…very little has been done.

Until now.

As it is currently written, the Act would

      • Require EPA to identify and restrict the "worst of the worst" chemicals, those that persist and build up in the food chain;
      • Require basic health and safety information for all chemicals as a condition for entering or remaining on the market;
      • Reduce the burden of toxic chemical exposures on people of color and low-income and indigenous communities;
      • Upgrade scientific methods for testing and evaluating chemicals to reflect best practices called for by the National Academy of Sciences; and
      • Generally provide EPA with the tools and resources it needs to identify and address chemicals posing health and environmental concerns.

One of the things the Act does not specifically address that we in the cleaning industry would like to see is the study and appropriate action taken on results of studies of chemical combinations. We know it is very important to know the compounds and effects of a single chemical compound, but when two or more are combined, new effects are not just possible but probable.

Under TSCA, EPA cannot restrict even the most dangerous of these chemicals and lacks the information it needs to evaluate how this complex mixture of chemicals affects our health. EPA has been able to require testing of only a few hundred of the 62,000 chemicals that have been on the market since TSCA was passed 35 years ago, a number that has increased to 85,000 chemicals today.

Today, medical, chemical, and environmental research…independent of one another…show how the chemicals we learned to clean with 30 years ago have built up in our bodies and how this build-up is a leading cause of a number of birth defects, biological and behavioral conditions (such as autism and ADHD), and general brain and learning development.

In the cleaning industry, we are diligent in researching the chemical products we use. We’ve tested, pulled individual toxicity reports, know what the pH balance of a product is and what it means for cleaning and protecting your belongings…and more. But most importantly, we know that a clean home is a healthy home, so we make sure we know what we’re doing each time we clean your home.

We also want you to know that the cleaning industry is among the first worldwide to develop “chemical free” applications. That’s right! It’s possible to clean your home without using any of those 86,000+ chemicals managed by the EPA. Emerging research even suggests that a chemical free cleaning is

Cleaner—removes more dirt, grime, pollutants, germs, bacteria, etc. than any other cleaning method

Safer—not only removes unhealthy dirt and germs but also leaves no residue or habitat in which germs/bacteria can regenerate

Greener—emits no fumes into the air, leaves no residue to soak into your skin or food, contaminates no ground water source, leaves no packaging waste

The most extreme version of chemical free cleaning uses the water from your tap in combination with a few pieces of equipment

But the point is that people are aware and are sharing their information. Ultimately, it’s not a question of who’s right and who’s wrong, but rather a question of what you will do to protect your health and the health of those you love.

And remember, call us…ANYTIME…to learn what we know about the products and processes we use to clean your home. If we don’t know, we’ll definitely find out. And if you have someone cleaning your home who can’t or won’t provide you the chemical documentation, we urge you to recognize that the individual or company may not be a reputable as you want them to be.

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