Did you see CNN’s special report “Toxic Childhood” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta? It actually aired last Thursday, but I DVR’ed it and watched it this week (gotta love the ol’ DVR). In this special report Dr. Gupta addressed the chemicals our children come into contact with on a daily basis (and are even born with) and what impact these toxins are having on their health.
Dr. Gupta’s report featured interviews with Jim and Nancy Chuda, Co-Founders of HealthyChild.org, and Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook. All three are in agreement that serious steps need to be taken toward safety testing and regulation of chemicals used in the products we purchase. Other interviewees, Ed Clark, Chair of Pediatrics, University of Utah, and Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, agreed that more research is required to prove these chemical ingredients safe for use. But the feeling wasn’t unanimous –Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president and founder of American Council on Science and Health, believes that the concern over these environmental toxins is unrealistic and unnecessary. It wouldn’t be controversial if both sides were not represented, right?
Because of our weak standards on chemical ingredient regulation in the US, we have a ways to go before all chemicals are even tested for safety, let alone regulated. The European Union is leading the way in more stringent standards for chemical ingredient safety testing and regulation of use. The fact that a show like Toxic Childhood aired is an encouraging sign that more and more Americans are becoming concerned with the safety of the products available for purchase, and there effects on their children and themselves. And if they are not yet concerned, it will soon be difficult to ignore.
Missed the show? Watch it here.