In an article published on March 3, 2014 the newspaper Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Melinda Beck, journalist for the WSJ, states that many of the possibly hundreds of chemicals present in the bodies of Americans at any point of time lack data on toxicity and interaction with genes, stress and other lifestyle factors. Some chemicals banned in the 1990s, like polychlorinated bisphenols (PCBs), continue to persist in the environment and thus, in human blood. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) contends that there is little scientific evidence for the effectiveness of common detoxification treatments. Since 2009 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also tests for the food contact substances bisphenol A (BPA), present in epoxy resins and polycarbonate, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are used in the coatings of non-stick cookware. As reported by Beck, both chemicals were detected in virtually all participants of the survey. She concludes that many questions remain about “which chemicals pose imminent threats, to whom and how people can avoid them”. She points to the National Library of Medicine’s website Tox Town providing non-technical information on chemical hazards and how to avoid them, and indicates that the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has not been updated since 1976. On February 27, 2014, House Republicans introduced a new draft chemical regulation (pdf) bill to Congress. Another bill introduced in 2013 by Senators David Vitter (Republicans) and the late Frank Lautenberg (Democrats) to the U.S. Senate remains stalled (previously reported on by the FPF). As reported by the newspaper The Times Picayune on March 3, 2014, non-governmental organizations, such as the Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, criticize that the newly proposed, industry backed draft would not allow doctors to disclose information on chemical exposure when treating patients.
Melinda Beck (March 3, 2014). “The Chemicals That Stick Around in the Body.” The Wall Street Journal.
Bruce Alpert (March 3,2013). “New Republican chemical bill backed by industry, but environmental advocates object.” The Times Picayun.