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Fact and Fiction


Scientific Fact, Industry Fiction

If you've followed the debates about chemical contaminants in the environment, you've probably already heard at least one of these claims before:

"These chemicals meet EPA standards."
"You'd have to drink a swimming pool of this stuff before it would affect you."
"There's no evidence that this compound harms humans."

The chemical industry and their hired public relations representatives trot out these and similar claims whenever the safety of one of their compounds is called into question.

On their surface, many of these statements appear reasonable. But once you scratch the surface, they prove to be little more than carefully constructed fictions and half-truths that obscure the real facts: that EPA requires little or no testing of compounds before they are released to the environment; that cancer rates are up, especially for the young; and that certain people, particularly young children, are extremely sensitive to certain compounds.

Before you spread the industry's stories about chemical exposure, make sure you have the facts.


The Most Poorly Tested Chemicals in the World
Read more about how chemicals go on the market with little or no health testing


Health studies for chemicals are not mandatory
A chemical can be put into commercial use even if its manufacturer has performed no tests on the compound's effects on human health.

People vary in sensitivity
Two different people can have very different reactions to the same compound. What may be safe for one person could seriously injure another.

The young are most vulnerable
The developing fetus, as well as infants and young children, can be extremely sensitive to low doses of a toxic compound, particularly at certain critical times in development.

Cancer rates are up
Cancer rates are up -- particularly for cancers that affect the young, such as childhood leukemia and brain cancer.

last updated: march.27.2009

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