Processing Magazine

New Web site offers toxic chemicals tally on products

September 21, 2009
A newly launched Web site that rates consumer products on their toxic chemical content, provides information on goods ranging from automobiles and pet products to school supplies and women''s accessories, reported by the Contra Costa Times. The site lists more than 900 products, with data on lead content in women''s purses, wallets and handbags collected by the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, Calif. The site is run by the Ecology Center in Michigan. The site focuses on levels of lead, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine and mercury in products, in part because they''ve been identified as "problematic chemicals" by regulatory agencies, according to a statement, in addition to the tendency of some of them to accumulate in people and the environment. The Web site''s launch coincided with a news conference announcing a renewed push by federal lawmakers to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Environmental and health advocates criticize the law as requiring limited or no human health testing for 81,000 chemicals listed in its inventory. This fall, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., are expected to introduce legislation calling for greater scrutiny on the health effects of industrial chemicals, and more publicly available information on the chemicals contained in consumer products. The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, stated on its Web site that it supports a revision to the toxic chemicals act. "It should be modernized to keep pace with advances in science and technology," the organization stated.