by Anna Davis
Field Organizer, Washintgon Toxics Coalition
I was tired, my fiancé was overwhelmed, and we both regretted that we had just spent a sunny spring day indoors. We had just returned from a marathon wedding registry session at one of those big box stores that carries anything you could ever possibly want and then some. My fiancé and I both wanted to create the greenest, most sustainable registry possible, one that would be kind to our bodies and the planet. But, instead of spending our time blissfully planning our new life together, we were fretting about chemicals in kitchen gadgets.
“Did we end up registering for a vinyl-free shower curtain?”
“I can’t remember.”
“You were going to look into Teflon-free cookie sheets and cake pans”
“Then can you look up the bed sheets and check if they are organic?”
“Ok, but then you have to find a place that sells fragrance-free beeswax candles.”
20 minutes later…
“At least they still make glass pie plates.”
As you probably know, many items on a typical gift registry contain chemicals that have been linked to health problems like sexual dysfunction and lower IQ — not qualities you want to cultivate in a lifelong partner. [pullquote]/ Unfortunately, trying to avoid harmful chemicals while shopping for house wares is like going to the state fair to avoid junk food./[/pullquote]
Shopping our way around the problem is usually our first line of defense on toxic chemicals in products. But after my completely draining experience trying to register for Teflon-free waffle irons and bisphenol A-free food processors, it is clear to me that putting the onus on the shopper to avoid harmful chemicals isn’t the solution.
While I’m not abandoning my efforts to create less-toxic wedding registry, the good news is, there is a bigger, more effective solution at hand. Right now, Congress is considering legislation that would overhaul the weak and outdated laws that put us in this dilemma in the first place. We need to ask Congress to update our laws to include the protections American families deserve and expect:
- Require immediate action to replace toxic chemicals with safer solutions.
- Hold industry responsible for testing chemicals and providing full information on their hazards.
- Let states set high standards to protect heath.
I promise sending a quick email to your congress people asking them to update our nation’s failed chemical laws is easier then trying to avoid toxic chemicals on our own. You can send them an email by clicking here.
Think of it as a gift to the next generation or as an early wedding present.