Americans assume that chemicals used to make ordinary products are tested for safety — but they are not. From baby bottles made with bisphenol-A (BPA) to carpets containing formaldehyde, dangerous chemicals are in our homes, places of work, and the products we use every day. And these exposures are costing us a fortune.
In fact, a new study published in Health Affairs estimates that childhood diseases linked to environmental exposures are costing us $76.6 billion per year.
Leonardo Trasande, MD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, analyzed the costs of conditions – including lead poisoning, childhood cancer, asthma, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – associated with exposure to toxic chemicals. Dr. Trasande and his team calculated the annual cost for direct medical care and the indirect costs, such as parents’ lost work days, and lost economic productivity caring for their children, of these diseases in children. The resulting estimation of $76.6 billion annually demonstrates the staggering economic impact of toxic chemicals and pollutants in the environment.
“New policy mandates are necessary to reduce the burden of disease associated with environmental toxins,” said Dr. Trasande. “The prevalence of chronic childhood conditions and costs associated with them may continue to rise if this issue is not addressed.”
Tell Congress to take action today by supporting the Safe Chemicals Act. We cannot afford this toxic assault any longer.
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