Who’s minding the store? Decision-making about chemicals in consumer products
Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Environmental and biological monitoring indicates people are exposed to chemicals from consumer products; however, there is limited information about chemical concentrations in consumer products. Targeted testing programs have been conducted to determine which products contain chemicals of concern since ingredient information is often incomplete and regulations are limited. However, targeted testing is resource intensive and may not be comprehensive. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks the power to compel product testing, labeling requirements are incomplete, and the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) leaves the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without effective means for controlling chemicals in commercial use. The lack of oversight regarding chemicals in consumer products as a result of outdated regulations such as TSCA has resulted in calls for chemical regulation reform in the U.S., with many States choosing to forge ahead with their own chemical bans. Meanwhile, the European Commission outpaces the U.S. with its Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program to evaluate chemicals and their use. Furthermore, identification of “bad actor” chemicals (i.e. chemicals of concern) is not systematic; it is often driven by consumer pressure, decision-making by distributors, and “green” manufacturers. Lack of transparency in this process complicates comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemical exposures. Scientific, regulatory, and retailer perspectives can shed light on information gaps, best practices, and next steps in understanding potential health risks from consumer product chemicals. Questions regarding identification and regulation of chemicals in consumer products need to be resolved in scientific and policy arenas in order to formulate effective strategies to protect public health.
Session Objectives: Understand the current regulatory structure for consumer products.
Identify chemicals of concern in consumer products .
Analyze consumer product labels to reduce exposures.
Synthesize regulatory framework and scientific evidence to formulate effective strategies.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services, Medical Care, Socialist Caucus
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)