MIAMI (CBS4) – A leading pediatricians group claims the government isn’t doing enough to protect children from harmful chemicals in food and household items, according to a new report released Monday.
In a written statement, The American Academy of Pediatrics said, “Over the past few decades, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been introduced into the environment, often in extremely large quantities.” The Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, the main federal law that regulates the use of chemicals in the U.S., hasn’t been revised since 1976.
According to the Los Angeles Times, studies show that children who suck on rubber toys, drink from plastic cups or bottles and play on chemically treated areas are all absorbing potentially harmful substances. It is especially detrimental to children, doctors say, because they are smaller and their bodies are constantly developing.
“We share the frustration of a lot of people that these chemicals are being addressed with sort of a flavor-of-the-month approach,” Dr. Jerome Paulson, a Washington, D.C., pediatrician and lead author of the academy’s statement, told the Times. “The lack of strong federal oversight means there isn’t enough reliable information to give our patients good advice.”
The academy suggests testing the tens of thousands of new chemicals that have been introduced to the market over the last 50 years, and subject them to the same regulations already imposed on drugs or pesticide residues on food.