In America, newborn babies enter the world with dozens of toxic chemicals, including fire retardants, lead and pesticides, in their blood.
I'm Richard Denison, Senior Scientist with Environmental Defense Fund's Health program and I've spent most of the last 25 years working to protect children and families from dangerous chemicals in our environment -- chemicals that are polluting even our newborns.
Unfortunately, U.S. laws regulating toxics are woefully inadequate. But you can help the EDF team fix these broken laws. I hope you'll consider supporting our efforts to close loopholes that are exposing our families to toxic chemicals.
No American is safe until we win reform.
For example, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, our government used trailers made with formaldehyde-treated plywood to house homeless victims of the storm. As you may know, formaldehyde is a chemical that causes cancer and exacerbates asthma and other respiratory ailments.
This high-formaldehyde plywood -- which is imported from China -- is perfectly legal for use in the U.S. But because of its toxicity, it can't be used in countries including the EU, Japan, and even China has banned its residential use.
This is just one example of a dangerous chemical that is prevalent in our everyday environment. Asbestos, lead and fire retardants are all present in things we use daily. As is Bisphenol A -- a chemical used extremely widely (in everything from food can linings to baby bottles) that has recently been linked to altered brain development, recurrent miscarriage, and increased risk of breast cancer.
But there is hope. After years of pressure from Environmental Defense Fund (and other advocates for public health protection), the U.S. Senate introduced legislation to reform our outdated toxics law -- its first fundamental reform in more than three decades.
EDF will continue working hard to push for reform and ensure that dangerous chemicals are identified and restricted before widespread exposure occurs. Your support right now will help us keep the pressure on U.S. leaders to act.
EDF will also be working on the ground to deliver safer, greener products to Americans. For example, we are partnering with Walmart to evaluate everyday products like shampoo, laundry detergents and air fresheners for suspect chemicals. As Walmart incorporates these findings into its buying decisions, manufacturers who reduce or eliminate harmful chemicals from their products will have a competitive advantage over those who do not.
Fighting for protection from toxic chemicals is just one example of EDF's commitment to working with governments, business and communities to find strong, practical solutions to environmental health problems.
We're pleased to have you involved in our work and hope you will consider supporting our efforts.
Senior Scientist, EDF