Late in September, Obama asked Congress to draft a tougher law to regulate chemicals. The current law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, is woefully inadequate: There are literally tens of thousands of chemicals being used that have never been tested and found safe. And some are in our children’s crib mattresses and other goods they come into contact with everyday.
What’s wrong with the current law? Just a couple of the highlights:
- Chemical manufacturers are not required to give the EPA the information needed to determine whether a chemical is safe – the burden of proof is on the EPA.
- Some health and safety information is suspected of being unjustifiably classified as Confidential Business Information (CBI) and is thereby protected from the pubic eye.
Read the principles congress was given as guidelines for the new law and you’ll get a good idea of why the current law doesn’t work well.
On an immediate basis the EPA will review six controversial chemicals, including phthalates. Three of the seven phthalates were recently banned in some children’s goods, including crib mattresses and some toys. We hope the remaining four will be included in the imminent review.
In case you don’t know, phthalates are chemicals used to make PVC/Vinyl more pliable so it can be used to make children’s toys, the waterproof covering on most crib mattresses, and many other goods.
Naturepedic mattresses do not contain phthalates–they never have and never will. Our waterproof covering is made from food-grade polyethylene.
The EPA is supposed to release their first plan of action to deal with these chemicals in December. We’ll keep you updated.