Skip to main content

New York Times’ “Wealthy Neurotic Parent” Meme Distorts Chemical Safety Issue

Andy250by Andy Igrejas, Campaign Director

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post on March 20th, 2012.

You may have seen the March 15 front page article in the New York Times Home Section, “Is it Safe to Play Yet? Going to Extreme Lengths to Purge Household Toxins.” The article provides a useful overview and some genuinely expert commentary on the scientific facts around toxic chemicals in the home. However, with the Times trademark tone of bemused snark it paints a picture of overzealous wealthy parents going to extremes, implying there’s nothing to do but spend $400 on a bassinet or make your own cleaners from baking soda, and isn’t that just ridiculous.

But it would be a serious moral mistake to dismiss the impact that chemicals have on chronic disease in this country, a serious business mistake to dismiss the global trend toward safer products, and a serious political mistake to think this issue is just for the Whole Foods crowd.

Thousands of studies published in mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals over the last 15 years point to a few sobering conclusions: Chemicals to which we are all exposed contribute to the rising rates of chronic disease in this country and around the world, including cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, asthma and other conditions from which millions of Americans suffer. Many chemicals turn out to be toxic at very low doses, especially those chemicals that mimic hormones, which are designed by nature to be biologically active at low doses. All Americans, including pregnant women, are carrying these chemicals — including ones that did not exist 50 years ago — around in their blood and fatty tissue. No one in the federal government has a handle on the problem or the authority to restrict chemicals in common sense ways.

Read the rest of the original article at the Huffington Post.  

Please like, share and leave comments on the original article to help show public support for passing the Safe Chemicals Act!