I respectfully submit the following evidence to promote an EPA investigation against chemical toxins used in ordinary household cleaners.
Since the end of WW2 there have been 85,000 new chemicals introduced to mainstream America without EPA approval, and minimal regulation at best. Of those 85,000 new chemicals, over 70% are found in everyday cleaners. Recent studies of families living with asthma, conducted by the American Lung Association and the American Respiratory Association, have found direct links between household cleaners and the onset of asthma attacks.
Household cleaners have contributed to the onset of new adult asthma as reported by Dr. Jan-Paul Zock of Barcelona Spain in joint studies conducted at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), the Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain, the Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health Group, the National Heart and Lung Institute, and the Imperial College, London, in the United Kingdom.
We live in an increasingly chemical society and these chemicals are being brought into our homes unaware: experts don't know how dangerous these chemicals might be, but they are starting to worry. Typically, the chemicals in cleaning products are found in small amounts, diluted with water. This does not necessarily make them safe. Ingestion of common household cleaning products by children accounts for 63% of the phone calls made to the National Poison Control Center.
Another thing to watch out for are aerosol sprays that contain nerve-damaging ingredients, such as hexane and xylene. Also, aerosol sprays produce mist particles that can contain a high amount of organic solvents, according to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. It warns that these solvents can be inhaled into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.
According to a 1999 study published in the weekly science and technology magazine, New Scientist, in homes where aerosol sprays and air fresheners were used frequently, mothers experienced 25% more headaches and were 19% more likely to suffer from depression, and infants younger than 6 months old had 30% more ear infections and a 22% higher incidence of diarrhea.
Some of the most alarming stories revolve around household cleaners containg chemicals known as ethoxylated nonyl phenols, which have recently been declared toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Also known as endocrine disrupters, these chemicals are called "gender benders" by environmentalists because they are believed to cause reproductive problems for some animals. For instance, a group of Columbia River otters, with large doses of ethoxylated nonylphenols in their bodies, can no longer reproduce because their penises are too small.
More than 56% of all nonylphenols used in Canada are found in cleaning products, notably in toilet cleaners and certain liquid laundry soaps. Fomaldehyde is another chemical compound found in some household cleaners, but it is included as a preservative, not as a cleaning agent. Other chemicals commonly found in household cleaners include ammonia; nitrobenzene, which is a toxic organic compound frequently used in furniture polish; and phenol, or carbolic acid. Most ingredients in household cleaners are chemical compounds that are manufactured for other uses as well.
Recent medical studies have also proven a link between ordinary household cleaners and their direct impact on Asthma and Beast Cancer. Findings also show a direct link between aromatic candles and liver disease, along with carcinogens that cause skin cancer and a multitude of other problems related to respiratory ailments directly caused by ordinary household cleaners.
News stations are reporting organized groups petitioning congress to set regulations on household cleaners and the 85,000 untested chemicals used in household cleaners. Household cleaners have never been regulated and manufacturers have been given a red carpet to use whatever chemicals they deemed worthy, with no regard for human safety. And our Healthcare Industry is suffering to the tune of billions annually.
If you want to make healthcare afforable, you have to start with prevention. With that said, I respectfully request the EPA to consider a ban on all unapproved household cleaners used in public schools and nursing homes until they are PROVEN SAFE.
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